An image of a gazelle crossing an earthen-coloured courtyard, its hoofs lightly trodding on rectangles of cool, early morning sunshine, was captured by the photographer Marcus Rohrer and has bagged him the top prize in a Ras Al Khaimah photography competition.
Open to both professional and amateur photographers, submissions for the first-ever instalment of the competition were taken from January 15 until February 18. Under the heading of "Discover Ras Al Khaimah", all submissions had to have been snapped somewhere in the emirate.
The prize is an initiative by RAKpedia, a non-governmental, non-commercial online area guide created by the tourism consultant Kasia Adamus, who lives and works in Ras Al Khaimah.
Out of a pool of almost 600 entries, five winners were selected, with a top prize of Dh5,000, and cash prizes for the other four winning photographers. The selection was made by a panel of four judges: the Abu Dhabi-based photographer Liesbeth De Bekker, the Emirati film director Walid Al Shehhi, the German artist Marina Dresler and the Iranian photographer Mojdeh Tazehzadeh.
"Overall, it was a good participation," says Al Shehhi. "It was difficult to get this huge number of images down to just a handful of winners, but we were really looking for those who weren't too reliant on Photoshop to produce good images.
"The composition in Marcus Rohrer's image really impressed us," he says. "It would have taken a long time to get such a picture. Also, the photograph says something about the culture of the UAE - the gazelle is coming into this urban environment, and moving into modern life. This has some reflection of the new world we're moving into in the Emirates."
In second place, Philomena Nunes turned her lens to the time-stained exterior of a wind tower in the heritage district in RAK, capturing the intricate decorative moulding in its construction. Third place was taken by David Jay, who found a harmony of composition and colour between six bright blue rolls of industrial wire, discarded amid the area's momentous mountainscape, and a rolling sky.
Honourable mentions also went to four photographers, with the "RAKpedia's Choice" award going to a work by Awatef Abdulla, depicting the wave-eaten hull of a traditional fishing boat.
All winning images, along with a selection of 50 commendable shots from the submissions, go on exhibition at the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah tomorrow, from 7pm-10pm.