APOY 2010 Round 3 Everyday People

After two rounds, the Amateur Photographer of the Year 2010 competition, in association with Canon, is shaping up to be another great battle. We?ve seen some serious competitors, and the overall quality of your submissions has been stunning.

Round 3 is always a crucial round, when entrants start to get a good idea of how they are faring in the competition and make the commitment to enter each month. For this round we challenge you to capture people in their environment. Can you photograph a person and show us where or who they are? As usual, we have some fantastic prizes from Canon to give away for those who can.

We would also like to remind everyone that it is vitally important to include a daytime telephone number and address so we can contact you in the event that you are shortlisted or win the round. Please also remember to include details of your image in your email entries so we can judge your image accurately. Without a sentence explaining what your picture depicts, our judges have to guess ? and they may guess wrong! If you visit the link below you will find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions and the disclaimers that must be copied and pasted into an email entry.

Remember that the top 50 pictures each month all receive points on our league table, and the top 30 are printed in the magazine. Persistence pays off in APOY.

Be sure to look for the results from Round 2, Rain and Bad Weather, in AP dated 24 April 2010.

Taking pictures of people you don?t know can be one of the most rewarding photographic experiences you?ll ever have. Despite the odd horror story, street photography doesn?t have to leave you feeling sly and the family stone-cold angry. This is your chance to explore what it is that makes us uniquely human.

Capturing pictures of people in their environment gives you the chance to explore how different perspectives and focal lengths can make someone feel closer or farther away, or allow you to tell a more complete story by including details that reveal something about your subject, such as a butcher?s apron hanging on a wall.

You can find great portrait potential almost anywhere there are people ? your high street, the beach, the train, even in your home (or their home, provided you?re invited). Look for the ?defining moment? that Henri Cartier-Bresson spoke so much about. Have your camera always pre-focused and ready. Do these things and you are more than halfway there. On the right we?ve offered some tips and information to help get you started.

Patience

If you?re taking pictures of everyday people out on the street, the success of your image will depend on catching that small moment when a subject?s feelings or personality are revealed.

It might be a shopkeeper expressing frustration at a customer, a woman hurrying her children, or this woman, who frowns when realising the man is staring at her. You will need patience, but these moments do reveal themselves.

Context

Close-ups of people are always good, but if you want to show their relationship to their environment you might want to think about using a wider focal length.

The more surrounding details you can include in your frame, the more it will put your subject in the context of his or her location and perhaps tell a story.

Get close

Of course, just as a wider angle gives you context of a location, a close-up reveals more emotion and the nature of your subject?s relationships. This is because you are choosing to emphasise gestures and expressions.

In this picture, for instance, it?s not important where it was taken. What?s interesting is the mother?s frustration, which you can ascertain from her expression and the motion of her rocking. Getting physically close to your subjects, rather than relying on a long lens, will also make your picture feel more natural.

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 £1,149.99. 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 will accommodate for 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 Stabilizer at up to 3 stops compensation and near-silent USM AF for superb image quality.

2nd prize

Our second-placed winner will receive Canon?s 12.1MP IXUS 200 IS compact camera, worth £349 that features an ultra wideangle 24mm lens, 5x optical zoom and an intuitive touch screen interface. He or she will also win Canon?s Selphy ES40 compact photo printer, worth £159, plus E-P100, E-P20G, E-P20S, E-P25BW photo paper, worth £82.

3rd prize

Our third-place winner will receive Canon?s 10MP PowerShot SX120 IS, worth £209. This easy-to-use digital compact is capable of capturing enough detail for poster-size prints or creative cropping, and boasts a 10x zoom with optical IS and a 3in LCD. Other features include face and motion detection technology.

This round closes 23 April 2010

For the competition rules and how to enter by email please click here

In association with Canon

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