Your chance to enter the UK's most prestigious competition for amateur photographers. APOY 2009 Round 9 From a Low Angle

If there?s a postal strike either send your entry in earlier than normal or email it to apoy@ipcmedia.com

For full details how to enter via email go to APOY 2009.

Round 9 From a low angle

In this year?s APOY we?ve asked you to shoot a number of subjects in a variety of ways, and in our penultimate round we now challenge you to experiment with perspective and the position of your camera. Nothing seems to put a subject in context quite like framing it from a low angle, and the possibilities for dramatic images are limitless. Most of us stand upright to take pictures, but the moment we think more closely about how we see our subjects and change our angle of view, the better we will be able to show our subjects in new ways and create unique images.

Below we have offered some tips and techniques to help you get started. We hope to see a diverse group of images this month, and judging by past rounds we?re sure we will. We would also like to remind you that you must include your address and details of your image in your email entry so we can judge your photograph accurately. Also, without your address and other contact details, we cannot reach you in the event that you win. For full details how to enter via email go to APOY 2009.

Shooting from a lower-than-normal perspective offers a number of dramatic visual effects. Most importantly, however, using a low-angle perspective gives you the ability to show a subject in ways it hasn?t been seen before, which is one of our ultimate aims as a photographer. Doing so gives the viewer an intimate view of the familiar and creates an image he or she will look at again and again.

If landscapes are your speciality, try lying on the ground or using a bean bag to see how this ultra-low point of view can transform what might be an ordinary scene into something otherworldly. Likewise for wildlife enthusiasts, setting up your camera at eye-level with your subject can help put it in the context of its environment and make a picture more personal or realistic. Fans of portraiture might also recall the effects of low angles in group shots, such as band portraits, where a guitar player may look down the long neck of his guitar at the camera and appear taller.

A low angle brings great potential for almost any subject, and the key to success in this round is to ask yourself if there is a better point of view before you press the shutter.

Wideangle

Wideangle lenses can be the perfect tool for capturing a greater sense of perspective at a low angle, as the larger angle of view makes your subject look taller relative to the other objects behind it in the frame.

To make the most of a wideangle lens effect, try to get as close to your subject as possible and fill the frame with it, otherwise the foreground looks empty. As you can see in this street image, the wideangle lens makes the woman appear taller than the buildings in the background.

Background

If you are shooting a subject on the ground, then your background will simply be the horizon in the distance, such as trees, grass or a fence.

To help emphasise your subject and its position in the frame, try to keep your background from becoming a distraction by keeping it simple, or perhaps using a large aperture to throw it out of focus.

Look up

Looking up and shooting at a severe angle can often produce striking images with very strong graphic designs. This effect works well with portraiture, as well as architecture, as you can see in this image of London?s Tower 42. The subject itself becomes a leading line, taking the eye from its broad base in the foreground and leading it through the frame.

1st prize

Our first-place winner will receive Canon?s EOS 450D and EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens kit, worth £1,129.99. The EOS 450D features a 12.2MP CMOS sensor with 3.5fps capture capability for a continuous burst of up to 53 large JPEG images (six in raw). Its nine-point wide-area AF accommodates off-centre subjects, and other features include a 3in LCD with Live View mode and a DIGIC III processor. The compact, fast-focusing EF-S 17-85mm lens features Image Stabilization of up to three stops compensation and near-silent USM AF for superb image quality.

2nd prize

Our second-place winner will receive Canon?s 10MP PowerShot SX1 IS, worth £589. A great all-rounder, the PowerShot SX1 IS offers users a 20x wideangle zoom for incredible reach, with continuous shooting of up to 4fps. With raw recording and full HD movie capability, the PowerShot SX1 IS also features Face Detection and anti-blur technology, and it is also EX Speedlite flash compatible.

3rd prize

The ultra-wide, 12MP Canon Digital IXUS 110 IS, worth £319, boasts a 4x wide (28mm) zoom and optical IS, making it perfect for any angle or situation. Capable of recording widescreen HD movies, the Digital IXUS 110 IS also features Smart Auto mode & Scene Detection Technology and Motion and Face Detection Technology.

If there?s a postal strike either send your entry in earlier than normal or email it to apoy@ipcmedia.com

For full details how to enter via email go to APOY 2009.

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For more information on Canon products please visit www.canon.co.uk