Even though photography has always been his long-life passion, 19-year-old Hady Geneidi did not think he would reach international acclaim. The young faculty of commerce student’s vision of prospective success was changed when he won first prize for the 2016 Egypt National Award, part of the world’s biggest photography competition, the Sony World Photography Awards.
The National Awards programme is a competition that aims to honour and reward the best single image taken by a local photographer; it runs in 60 countries across the world from Argentina to Australia.
Having won this award, Geneidi’s winning photograph will be exhibited as part of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in Somerset House, London from 22 April to 8 May. His pictures will also be published in the annual Sony World Photography Awards album.
His winning image “Breaking Through” was chosen as the best photograph taken by an Egyptian photographer entered into any of the 10 categories of the Open competition.
The photo depicts a man standing in an archway, looking away from the camera towards the hills.
“I took this photo in March 2015 in Giza, Egypt; that is myself in the visual,” said Geniedi. “I used a self-timer to take the photo.”
From his point of view, the photograph represents much more than just a man standing in the middle of the desert under a gateway.
He explained the several elements in the photo, each depicting something important to him: the desert indicates deepness; the sole source of faraway light represents hope, euphoria, and confidence; and finally the geometric shape signifies an abstract element.
In order to capture this portrait, Geniedi worked hard to prepare the material, the location, and the timing.
“The geometric shape in the photo is a 50x50cm wooden object, which I made out of material from a local carpenter in Cairo. I had to bring it with me to the location so I could capture it in the same environment, perspective and light as the rest of the image,” he explained.
The competition is organised by the World Photography Organisation, an entity which provides a global platform across the photography industry, not only to raise the level of discussion about the subject but also to increase awareness and appreciation of this art form.
“For me winning this competition is a challenge between me and my art not with the other participants. We are all looking for appreciation at the end.” He concluded.