The National Geographic Abu Dhabi's Photomentaries 2012 has returned.
It includes a month-long festival of documentaries on the magazine's fearless photographers, and a photo contest with winners receiving more than US$7,000 (Dh26,000) worth of photography equipment. Capture Life in Motion is this year's theme; entrants from the Arab world are invited to capture images that convey life in their communities.
The award-winning American photographer George Steinmetz, who will judge the competition alongside National Geographic Abu Dhabi's editor-in-chief Mohamed Al Hammadi, says he hopes the entries will reveal a different facet of the Arab world.
"I actually find it interesting to see what other people see," he says. "I want to see how they interpret their own world because a lot of the time we see the Arab world through western eyes."
An inherent curiosity took Steinmetz to the most remote part of the Empty Quarter and the Sahara and Gobi deserts, capturing images on his specially built motorised paraglider. It was the bizarre nature of his contraption that helped him gain the respect of his foreign subjects.
"When people see it and see what I do, they think 'wow, he is risking his life, he is serious'," he says. "When they see deep interest and sincerity, they open up."