Huawei has announced the 57 winners of the XMAGE Awards 2023. The competition, which spotlights photos taken with Huawei devices, named three grand prize winners, 17 best-in-category winners, 34 runner-up winners, and three honorable mentions.
This year’s winners were selected from more than 600,000 entries received between April 7 and Aug. 15 from participants from nearly 100 countries. After China, the five countries with the highest number of entries were Malaysia, Türkiye, Poland, the Philippines, and the UAE. The most popular phone models used were the P60 Pro, P40 Pro, and Mate 40 Pro.
Out of the 17 best-in-category winners, one hails from Egypt. Sadek Khafagy won the award in the outdoor category for his work titled “Reflection.” His image captures the striking beauty of the unique rock formations of The Wave in Arizona. After a rainy day, water pools in this area reflect the oranges and yellows of the layered rock walls and bright blue sky. Khafagy’s photograph masterfully depicts this vista in perfect symmetry.
Regional talents honored
A number of photographers from the Middle East and Africa region have won special awards from the Huawei community. The UAE, being one of the countries with the most submissions, bagged 10 out of the 15 MEA XMAGE Awards dolled out in 2023. Their images told rich visual stories from breathtaking landscapes, glistening architecture, and the diverse culture of the UAE. Talented photographers from Saudi Arabia and South Africa also earned special awards. The special awards had gold, silver and bronze winners in several categories ranging from portraits and art and fashion to “Hello Life” and outdoor.
Gold winners: In the art and fashion category, the image “Art-Chitecture” captures a unique architectural design with excellent composition that almost makes it look like a flower. The portrait “Drying Up” is a monochrome shot of a man drying hotel towels, full of a sense of story. And “Water Drop” in the Hello Life category was a creatively inverted macro shot of a water droplet against a surreally colorful background.
Silver winners: In Hello Life, “Golden Summertime” encapsulated the radiance of summer in a vivid splash of golden sunset colors. The portrait “Behind the Mask” shows an Emirati girl with her eyes conveying deep emotion behind her traditional face mask, a poetic image that celebrates cultural heritage. The joyful “Best Buddies” image depicts the silhouette of children at the beach against the colorful hues of the evening sky, representing the innocence and sincerity of childhood friendship. The expressive portrait “Innocent Beauty” masterfully uses chiaroscuro lighting to accentuate the doe-eyed gaze of a young girl. In the outdoor category, “Skyscrapers” features tiny window cleaners rappelling down the gleaming facade of a soaring skyscraper. This photo contrasts immense architecture with small human figures.
Bronze winners: The serene “The Kite Runner” captures a solitary young boy silhouetted against a misty dawn sky as he tries to fly his kite. The cinematic “Life Sun” depicts the blazing sun casting dramatic rays through the immense desert landscape of AlUla. Another spectacular shot titled “Kyrgyzstan Postcard View” documents the culmination of a rewarding nine-hour mountain trek, showcasing the cascading valleys and jagged peaks revealing themselves in a breathtaking panorama.
“The Last Light” is an atmospheric landscape taken at dusk, the fading sun casting the mountainous terrain in an ethereal glow. The “Night Under the Galaxy’s Lights” places an SUV in the middle, framed by the dazzling sweep of the Milky Way and some light-painting trickery. The image titled “There is No Love Like Snail Love” playfully highlights nature’s wonder through two spiraled gastropods tenderly exploring each other’s shells. And the portrait of a farmer carrying a woven basket on his head demonstrates excellent cultural storytelling.
Through unique perspectives, artistry, and storytelling, these 15 photographers from the Middle East and Africa have proven themselves at the forefront of their field.
The three grand prize-winning photographs that captured the judges’ hearts include: “Dragon Clouds” by Domcar Calinawan Lagto from the Philippines, “Airshow” by Piotr Cebula from Poland, and “Fearless Eagle” by Dou Chuanli from China. Each grand prize winner will receive $10,000 from the XMAGE creation fund, to support their photography and to encourage them to continue using Huawei devices in the future.
The 17 best-in-category winners and the 34 runner-up winners will each receive $1,500 and $1000, respectively.