XPOSURE Iternational Photography festival

At the end of 2022 I received a request from the organisation of the Xposure photography competition to send the original files of one of my best photographs, Lavaredo’s Gloria. When a photographer enters such an important competition and receives a communication like this, wonderful ideas immediately start to form in his head: what if I had won? What if I had been selected among the best? You start to get very excited!

After submitting the original Raw files of my photo I waited for further communication until after a few weeks the verdict arrived: my photo had been chosen as one of the winners in the landscape category, what incredible news!

Lavaredo's Gloria © Alessandro Cantarelli

I didn’t even have time to realise what was happening to me when I received a communication from Heba, in this email it was written that I had to communicate my residence and my country in order to organise the flight transfers… They were basically telling me that they were going to put me on a plane to the United Arab Emirates, the dream was becoming a reality…

On 8 February, the day my mother who passed away in November would have turned 71, I was put on an Emirates A380, an airline that I had dreamed of taking for so many years, I finally got the chance to board this incredible plane that took me straight to Dubai Airport.


When I arrived in Dubai there were the organisers waiting for me with a sign with my name on it, this was a very funny moment. They took me in a van to our five-star, Pulmann hotel in a city I had never seen before and which I immediately loved: Sharja

I shared the journey in the van with Luca Venturi, the manager of the Siena Photography Awards, who began to explain me what good luck i had and congratulating me on my work (it seems really incredible even for me). The next day I entered the Xpo there for the first time, my God what a sight.

The Xposure is a huge festival where you can really fall in love with photography, there are more than 50 fantastic exhibitions representing the work of dozens of incredible photographers. For years I studied under these masters and now I am here with them, rewarded for my work, how exciting.

The organisation of exposure really thought of everything, I had the opportunity to do photography workshops with a colleague I have been following for many years, Albert Dros, and I listened to very pleasant talks on many topics until the evening of the award ceremony, perhaps the most important evening of my life.

When my name and the name of my photograph was spoken, I smiled and wore my mum’s ring to show her this very emotional moment, my photo was recognised Worldwide as one of the best landscape photographs and this is a great honour for me. To see all the lights shining on me and to see the institutions awarding me directly was magical.

The next day I explored the city and also went to Dubai, thus completing an experience that will remain in my memories for a lifetime. I wish each and every one of you who is reading this article to come and see the beauty of the Xposure with your own eyes, you will really be impressed by what amazing photos deserve to be displayed at this fantastic festival. I can’t wait to go back!

Alex Wides - Panoramic Photography | Awards and Honors