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Malaysian Student Beats Worldwide Competition To Be Shortlisted At The 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

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Emerging photographic talent is today celebrated by the World Photography Organisation with the announcement of the ten young photographers shortlisted in the Student competition of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards.  Within the shortlist is a powerful photographic series by Nur Hidayati Binti Abd. Rahim (age 20), a student at the Faculty Of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Malaysia.

Being shortlisted is significant as the Awards offer young photographic artists unparalleled opportunity to showcase their art to a global audience and is a vital support to anyone looking to make a career in photography.

This exposure begins in April when Nur Hidayati, her tutor, and the nine other shortlisted students will be flown to London to attend the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards ceremony. Here the students will receive expert portfolio reviews, a masterclass with world-renowned artist Nadav Kander (recipient of the Awards’ 2019 Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize) and have their work shown as part of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition. The images will be exhibited in London from April 18 until May 6, 2019 before touring globally to countries including Japan, Italy and Germany.

The winner of the coveted Student Photographer of the Year title will be announced April 17, with the winning student receiving €30000 (Euros) of Sony digital imaging equipment for their institution.

Students were first challenged to produce a series of 3-5 images responding to the brief, “Evolution”.  From this, ten students were shortlisted and received Sony cameras with which they have created a second series of work inspired by the brief “Belong”.

Nur Hidayati was shortlisted for her first series, Rural Life in Urban World. The student has since created her second series titled Soul of The Wild, which focuses on the harmony between humans and animals. In this series, Nur Hidayati depicts a young teenager named Syukor, the youngest of eight children who is based in Terengganu, Malaysia. Syukor grew up surrounded by animals on his father’s farm, and has developed close bonds with them. Her series captures the interactions and unique bond between the buffaloes and Syukor. The photographer aimed to demonstrate the sense of belonging Syukor has amongst these huge animals.

Nur Hidayati explains the difficult process of capturing these moments between Syukor and the buffaloes: “This idea was really challenging because I needed to find the right moments of animal behavior toward Syukor. I’m not someone who is brave enough to touch these animals or even go near them. However, I tried to overcome my weakness little by little to capture those beautiful moments. I took a lower angle of Syukor and his buffaloes to give the picture more impact. Next, I took a picture from further away to capture a group of buffalo with Syukor to give a sense of belonging. I faced difficulties from unwelcome weather: heavy rain made it harder for me to take the pictures I wanted.”

This year’s Student competition was judged by global photography experts who have strong insight into emerging photography practise. The panel comprised of Jason Baron (Creative Director of Photography, BBC Creative), Bruno Bayley (Managing Editor, Magnum Photos) and Jeff Hamada (Founder & Editor, BOOOOOOOM).

Judge Jason Baron commented “What’s been so interesting to see in this year’s Student competition is the range, variety and diversity of the images on show, not just in the subject matter, but in the genre of photography. It’s good to know that the future of all the different kinds of photography is safe in the hands of some great young talent.”

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the internationally-acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards are one of the most important fixtures on the global photographic calendar. As one of the world’s largest and most prestigious global photography competitions, the Awards annually celebrate and promote the best contemporary photography from the past year across a wide variety of photographic genres.

Now in their 12th year of partnership with headline sponsor Sony, the Awards consist of four competitions in total: Professional (for a body of works), Open (for a single image), Student (for academic institutions) and Youth (for 12-19-year olds). A total of 326,997 entries from 195 countries and territories were submitted across the four competitions of the 2019 Awards, the highest ever number of entries to date.

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