Travel - Wish you were here

APOY 2010 Round seven – Wish you were here

As our 2010 Amateur Photographer of the Year competition, in association with Canon, enters its home stretch we can say with certainty that this has been one of the finest years of the competition to date. This stands even in spite of our recent technical hiccup due to an unforeseen hard drive failure. We appreciate your patience with the delayed Round 4 In Bloom results and urge you to look out for them in two weeks? time in AP 21 August 2010. In the meantime, let us introduce Round 7.

August, of course, is the most popular time of the year for taking holidays, and as thousands of you motor and jet off to pastures new we thought this would be the opportune time to launch our travel photography round, Wish you were here. Below we have offered some tips and techniques to help you get started. Judging by previous rounds, we?re confident we can look forward to a diverse group of images.

We would also like to remind everyone that it is 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. 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.

Be sure to look for the results from our current round, Close to You, which will be published in AP 28 August 2010.

For full details of how to enter via email please visit the APOY competition page where you will find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions and the disclaimers that must be copied and pasted into an email entry.

Round seven – Wish you were here

August is the time when many of us take our holidays, but travel photography can sometimes intimidate us. Do we shoot the tourist landmarks by which we can show off our visit, or do we look for candids, landscapes or light that we might not find closer to home?

The answer is there is no definitive answer. It?s more instinctual. If your goal is to tell a story about a place, ask yourself what stands out.

Is it the local dress or the landscape? Maybe it?s the rows of bicycles and canal boats that you see in Amsterdam. If you?re on a tropical island full of flamingos, it might be that you want to emphasise the colour pink. Floyd the barber in his high-street shop might perfectly embody small-town America.

Or it could be that you want to shoot the major landmarks, such as an Eiffel Tower or Taj Mahal. In this case, think about showing an alternative view that differs from the standard shot we?ve all seen.

Great travel photography comes in many forms, but ultimately your picture should give the viewer a sense of the place in which it was taken. On the right we?ve offered some tips and information to help get you started.

Locals

People are some of the most interesting aspects of travelling. Whereas landscapes may not differ too much from county to county or country to country, people are unique.

Everywhere you go they have different ways of doing things. They may dress differently, practise different customs or eat strange foods.

Think about how you can show this with your camera. What makes people unique? Sometimes it?s going in close on their face. At other times you might want to go wider for context.

The landscape

Sometimes it is the local landscape itself that is distinct and gives your location its identity. This is the case with the walled medieval seaside town of St Malo on the coast of Brittany, pictured here.

If, like many, your travel photography coincides with a family holiday, you might not be able to shoot such seaside towns at dawn. Therefore it?s worth remembering that low ISOs and daylight white balance settings during the day often yield the most realistic colours and tones.

Details

Sometimes it?s not the people or the landscape at all that define a place, but rather the locals? customs and pastimes.

If these can?t be captured in candid street shots (such as market or café scenes) then think about the other areas in which they reveal themselves.

Here, for instance, Venice?s age-old tradition of wearing elaborate masks during Carnevale is emphasised by capturing the many varieties in this large pile for sale.

1st prize

Our first-placed winner will receive Canon?s PowerShot G11 compact camera, worth £569, along with an underwater housing, worth £209.

Designed for exceptional image quality and professional levels of flexibility, the PowerShot G11 combines a 10MP high-sensitivity sensor, a 5x wideangle (28mm) lens, a full manual mode and a 2.8in vari-angle LCD.

The winner will also receive Canon?s Tele-Converter TC-DC58D 1.4x, worth £135, which increases the effective aperture of the lens by 1 stop and extends focal length by 1.4x. Also included is a Canon conversion lens adapter, worth £44, and a case, worth £23. In total, the winner will receive prizes worth

2nd prize

Our second-placed winner receives Canon?s PowerShot S90, worth £439.

The S90 lets users shoot quickly with a lens control ring to get superior low-light performance with a high-sensitivity 10MP CCD and f/2 lens.

Along with full manual control and raw mode, it also features a dual anti-noise system. Also included is an underwater housing, worth £209

3rd prize

Our third-placed winner receives Canon?s 12.1MP PowerShot D10, worth £289. The D10 is ideal for outdoors, offering water resistance to 10m and shock resistance.

It also features a 3x zoom lens, optical IS and scene detection technology. Also included is a D10 accessory kit with straps and covers, worth £109

In association with Canon