The sixth edition of Xposure International Photography Festival, a premier global event dedicated to celebrating the art of photography, hosted 57 of the world’s leading photographers. Their unique works demonstrated the breadth of contemporary image-making and storytelling and reflect their exceptional experiences and adventures.
The Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) organized the festival over seven days at Expo Centre Sharjah. It hosted individual and group art exhibitions by photographers from countries around the world and an integrated programme of inspirational talks, training, and educational workshops to suit the skill-sets of varied age groups. In addition, portfolio reviews were conducted by accomplished, award-winning photographers. Candid and posed portraits and images of daily life captured with the technical brilliance of composition and technique are a hallmark of the images that were on display at Xposure 2022.
The week-long festival presented Magnum member Steve McCurry, whose body of work covers conflict, as well as ancient traditions and cultures. His iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ portrait taken in 1985 had captured the story of a country, its people, and refugees across the world.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to view the works of multi-award-winning Biljana Jurukovski from Macedonia, whose images create discussions about different cultures and respect for traditions; Chris Rainier, who has committed himself to document traditional societies who live on the margins of the natural world; Daniel Kordan, a landscape and travel photographer from Russia famed for his breathtaking landscapes; and the stunning documentary images of George Georgiou, a British photojournalist.
Other noted artists include GonçaloFonseca, a documentary photographer from Lisbon, Portugal, who sheds light on under-reported issues and Jordan Hammond, whose modern style of travel photography mixes diverse cultures, colour, light and landscapes; while Vineet Vohra, a self-taught photographer and London-based Alan Schaller who specialises in black and white photography, will share their passion for street photography.
Tariq Zaidi, who documents social issues and inequality within various societies across the globe, and Vidhyaa Chandramohan, a photojournalist who focuses on women and culture in the UAE, were also at the 2022 edition of Xposure.
Several internationally recognised nature and wildlife photographers will showcase compelling stories through their works in this popular and versatile genre at Expo Centre Sharjah.
American photographer Joel Sartore, founder of The Photo Ark, whose works focus on conservation photography, will showcase images of his ongoing project that documents some of the most endangered creatures left on Earth. In contrast, Michel Rawicki has been documenting the changing landscape of the North and South poles will offer great insights into a region at the heart of climate change.
The exhibition also presented photographs by Aaron Gekoski, an award-winning environmental photojournalist specialising in human-animal conflict; Belgian photographer Alain Schroeder who has drawn attention to critically endangered species like the orangutans; and Lurie Belegurschi, who has captured the power, majesty and vulnerability of the spectacular landscapes of the Arctic Region.
Other photographers featured in this category include Levon Biss, best known for his extreme macro work; Mogens Trolle, Danish mammal researcher, turned wildlife photographer and the winner of the Animal Portraits category of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 competition; and Jasper Doest, a National Geographic contributor whose visual stories explore the relationship between humankind and nature. Six photographers specialising in underwater environments to spotlight marine conservation include Brian Skerry, David Doubilet, Jennifer Hayes, Jeffrey Garriock, Daryl Owen, and Laurent Ballesta.
Xposure 2022 featured several award-winning photographers who bring out the dynamism of buildings and urban architecture with carefully conceived shots that balance composition and geometry. Andrew Prokos, a New York City-based fine art photographer and a master of long-exposure photography, will showcase his finely detailed images that incorporate architectural elements and sweeping natural and urban views; UAE-based Sajin Sasidharan will showcase his knowledge of composition, light and natural elements in his black and white photography; and Steven Brooke, an active participant in historic preservation, drew attention to the principles of composition and artistic integrity that had guided his work.
Majid Abdalla Al Bastaki, an architectural photographer, born and raised in Sharjah, showcased images that capture the culture, art and beauty of the emirate while Iwan Baan captured the many ways people shape their shared built environment from high architecture to handmade homes.
Prominent photojournalists who examine the human experience through the lens of their unique personal vision, skills, and technique include James Nachtwey, an American photographer who documents wars and critical social issues; Muhammed Muheisen, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner who has been highlighting the refugee crisis around the world; Omar Havana, Spanish photojournalist; Jana Andert, Czech photographer and filmmaker who focuses on conflict zones and humanitarian issues; and Kiran Ridley, whose reportage work is primarily concerned with issues of migration, human rights and political representation.
Sergey Ponomarev, whose works have depicted the European refugee crisis as well as wars and conflicts in the Middle East; Debi Cornwall, a conceptual documentary artist and filmmaker; Diego Ibarra SÃ¡nchez, a documentary photographer based in Lebanon; Bangladesh-based Ibrahim Iqbal, who has won more than 300 awards at the national and international levels; and Frank Fournier, a profoundly humanistic photographer who has produced extraordinary work on the civil war in Lebanon, werealso at Xposure 2022.
A host of accomplished artists were part of Xposure 2022 to convey stories and emotions through a range of workshops and seminars that discuss their works depicting landscapes, portraits, culture, food, cities, towns, and more, from varied geographical locations from around the globe. Prominent photographers who have captured and documented the essence of a distant place in a single frame include, amongst others, Chris Coe, Andrew Semark, Elia Locardi, and David Newton.
Other participating photographers included America’s most iconic photographer Stephen Wilkes, who is widely recognised for his fine art, editorial and commercial work; Slovenian fine art photographer Beno Saradzic; Egyptian Syrian astrophotographer Samy Al Olabi; motorcycle journalist Neale Bayly; accomplished media expert Aidan J Sullivan, commercial photographer Mike Browne; successor to the Surrealist photographic tradition, Spanish artist Garca de Marina; Colin Hawkins, who specialises in people and product photography; and Ray Wells, the Sunday Times Picture Editor.
Robin Morgan, founder and CEO of Iconic Images of London and Los Angeles; Kathy Moran, National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography; Whitney Johnson, Vice President of Visual and Immersive Experiences at National Geographic; Luca Venturi, Founder and Art Director of the Siena International Photo Awards and of the Drone Photo Awards; and Lars Boering, founder of Triggertale.com – a platform for visual communication, were amongst the other prominent names participating in Xposure 2022.