Amateur Photographer of the Year 2017


The UK’s oldest and most prestigious photo competition for amateur photographers returns, bigger and better than ever!

Over the years AP readers have sent us some incredible images, so 26 years ago we decided to launch the Amateur Photographer of the Year competition. Since then, APOY has received thousands and thousands of entries, with many of them taking the judges’ breath away. Entries have come from across the globe, whether they’ve been shot with a smartphone, a plastic camera or a top-of-the-range DSLR.

APOY 2017 follows a different format from last year. This time we’re working in partnership with Photocrowd, who will be hosting all the entered images on their website. Visit for details on how to enter.

The competition is open to all amateur photographers, but please note that those entrants who live outside the UK who win any of the prizes will be liable for any local import taxes.

After the closing date of each round, all the entries will be narrowed down to a shortlist, from which we’ll decide the overall winner of that round. There will be one winner as selected by an expert panel of judges and then one winner as voted for by the members of Photocrowd, who will win a print subscription to Amateur Photographer magazine.

The images will appear on Photocrowd, and the highest rated entries are also published in Amateur Photographer. After the eight rounds, the overall winner will be chosen by a mix of crowd and expert votes.

The lucky winner will then be crowned the Amateur Photographer of the Year 2017.

Plan your APOY year

Below is a list of all this year’s rounds, including when the rounds open, when they close and the dates the results will be announced in Amateur Photographer. When you are planning your entry, remember to take into consideration the criteria of fulfilling the brief, creativity and technical excellence on which you will be judged.

Round Two: Hit the streets

Strong shafts of light and shadows are a staple of much great street photography. © Ornella Sol Binni

Street photography is the most accessible genre of all and it’s as popular as it has ever been. Even if we don’t live in a busy street, we almost certainly travel to, and work in, places where the rich tapestry of street life chugs along like a well-oiled machine. All you have to do is photograph it, and show the rest of the world what happens there. Of course, it can be tempting to head to the biggest, most bustling place you can find but you really don’t need to.

Street photography can be done as easily beside the quiet and seemingly empty village post office as it can among the crowds that stream past the Bank of England. The trick is to develop a keen eye for candid moments. Events on the street can develop both at the micro and macro levels. Spend time observing a location and the behaviour of the people who inhabit it. Even the subtlest scenes can be captivating.

This month’s prize:

Win a Sigma dp2 Quattro worth £899.99 and a VF-41 Viewfinder worth £199.99

For the dp2 Quattro, Sigma has rethought and redesigned every aspect of the camera including the sensor, engine, lens and body. While retaining its famous textural expression, the updated Foveon direct image sensor produces images that are richer, deeper and more faithful than ever before.

Serving as a faithful alternative to the Sigma dp2 Quattro’s LCD screen, the VF-41 viewfinder is an optical external finder that attaches to the camera via its hotshoe. That’s a total prize value of £1,099.98.


Top tips for street photography:

Shapes and lines – Make the most of shapes and lines to create impact. When you’re out and about, notice how everything can be broken down into simple shapes, and notice how they interact with one another.

© Keith Cooper

Capture the absurd – The people we encounter on the streets are certainly a strange bunch. One of the hallmarks of street photography is recognising absurd and strange situations, and then reacting quickly, as we see in this image.

© Josef Hinterleitner

Every street’s a stage – Just as with wildlife, it can be fascinating to study how people interact with the street environment. Just about every location has something interesting to offer in this respect, so be alive to it.

© Dan Deakin

Use the light – In the street, light is funnelled between buildings, through tunnels and under bridges. On a clear day, you can use this directional light to frame your subjects with a powerful beam and deep, dark shadows.

© David Sark

About Sigma

Sigma is again offering an array of prizes to the winners of the Amateur Photographer of the Year competition. Sigma’s mission is to provide exceptional products at an affordable price. All Sigma products are manufactured exclusively by Sigma in its dedicated factory in Aizu, Japan. The company’s reputation for cutting-edge lens design is demonstrated by its series of lenses, ranging from 4.5mm to 800mm. Designed for enthusiast and professional photographers alike, all are backed by a three-year UK warranty when imported by Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd.

Sigma’s new Global Vision range of cameras and lenses incorporates the very latest in optical technology, with unique innovations such as the ultra-fast Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art lens and USB dock that allow unrivalled customisation of Global Vision lenses by the photographer using Sigma Optimization Pro specialist software. This groundbreaking new range is winning praise and awards for its quality and innovation from both customers and industry commentators alike.

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