Meet Elysium, the winner of HIPA 2018 Photography Award (#1 Prize / Time-Lapse Category)

Award winning photographer and professional time-lapser Beno Saradzic has made it to the 1st place (Time-Lapse category) at the HIPA 2018! It’s really short. It’s not 4k either. And you’ll love it if you’re sick and tired of hyperlapses.

Beno Saradzic shared with us the following details on his video:

One of the most powerful films I’ve seen as a young boy is one most people have never heard of. Cryptically titled ‘Koyaanisqatsi’, this unique film employed only fantastically executed visuals backed by a hypnotic, dramatic music score to tell a story. It was a strange, experimental film, too hard to describe with words, but I was completely mesmerized by it. There was no obvious plot to follow, it had no actors or songs, but despite this, ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ was one incredibly immersive experience. Some of the most unique aspects of this film were its groundbreaking time lapse sequences. I was still very young and could not understand how they were filmed, but I do remember the impact they left on my impressionable mind.

Many years have passed since then and I’ve chosen to pursue the art of photography and filmmaking as my career, of which time lapse cinematography takes its biggest share. I don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse, because shooting, processing and time lapse films take an immense amount of effort and patience, a fact unknown to most. But seeing the finished product, after all that hard work, still fill me with immeasurable joy and satisfaction. This motivates me to keep on learning in order to get better at the craft.

‘Elysium’ features the skylines of Dubai and Abu Dhabi which are among the most imposing and photogenic ones in the world. The quiet giants, soaring high into the Emirati skies are a source of awe and inspiration for any dreamer or photographer. What gives this film a dreamlike quality however is the elusive winter fog and its mysterious interaction with the tallest structures. Viewed from a high angle, the fog turns the cities into a grand canvas of visual poetry which could only be expressed with a language of time lapse cinematography.

The fog’s formation is very hard to predict and therefore, it’s not easy to film. I was forced to spend many sleepless nights chasing the foggy conditions from various rooftops across the UAE. When the fog finally formed, and all elements came together, it was like witnessing magic. Watching the fog as it rolled between and over the buildings was such a haunting and utterly fascinating sight. It was a quite a logistical and technical challenge to capture all scenes I needed for a film, but it was all worth it.

Various scenes of ‘Elysium’ were captured in Dubai and Abu Dhabi between 2013 and 2017.

I’m happy to report that the ‘Elysium’ won the 1st Prize in the Time Lapse Category of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Photography Award (HIPA), based in Dubai, UAE.

For those who don’t know, Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA) is an international photography award, founded in 2011 under the patronage of Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid bin Mohammed al Maktoum. It is known for the largest monetary prize among the photography awards in the world. To give you an idea; the winners, as well as the invited members of the press and photography magazines are flown into Dubai from all corners of the planet on all-paid trip which includes the high-end 5 star hotel stay with full board for 3 full days. This includes the chauffeured rides to the glitzy awards ceremony which rivals the Oscars night! The day after, HIPA organizes the press conference and the media interviews with all the winners which generates a considerable media exposure in the UAE and around the world.
It felt truly special and incredible to be a part of this event, as one of the winners. I met so many interesting people, heard their amazing stories and made some great contacts.

Hats off to everyone at HIPA for turning this photography award into the most spectacular celebration of photography on Earth in such a short time! Way to go Dubai!!


If you want to know more about Beno Saradzic, don’t forget check the following out:

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