APOY 2012 2012 Round Four - At Dawn and Dusk - Landscapes

APOY 2012 Round Four – At Dawn and Dusk – Landscapes

APOY 2012 Round Four – At Dawn and Dusk – Landscapes

**Entries must be received by 5pm on 25 May 2012**

Please visit the APOY 2012 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY entry email address, and the disclaimers that must be copied and pasted into an email entry.
If you wish to enter by post please remember to include your entry form.

Round 4 of this year’s Amateur Photographer of the Year competition, sponsored by Samsung and Jessops, is At Dawn and Dusk (landscapes at the magic hour). For this round we want you to use the times around sunrise and sunset, known as the ‘golden’ or ‘magic’ hours, to take a landscape photograph. The light at these times is warm and golden, but don’t think you have to send us an image of golden colours. In fact, if you want your photograph to stand out, why not try something a little different? We’ve a number of tips and suggestions below so make sure you read these before you set off on your early morning or late evening foray. And don’t forget that the images likely to catch the judges’ eye are those that are creative, skilfully composed and technically excellent.

As always, we have thousands of pounds worth of fantastic camera equipment up for grabs, as well as the chance to be crowned Amateur Photographer of the Year 2012. The closing date for round 4 is 25 May 2012. The first-prize winner will receive a fantastic Samsung package worth more than £1,500. The second-prize winner will receive a Samsung camera and memory card worth more than £280, while the third-prize winner will receive a £250 Jessops voucher. The top 30 highest scoring photographs will be published in our 30 June issue, while the scores from the top 50 images will be posted on our website.

Information explaining how to enter can be found on the APOY 2012 home page. Please use your full name as the file name and paste the disclaimer into the body of your email if you are sending your entry electronically. We also need to know where and how you took your image, plus the camera and lens used with aperture and focal length details. Also, include a telephone number and your postal address so we can contact you if you win.

For this month’s round we are looking for landscape images taken as the day starts and ends. At dawn and dusk the sun is below the horizon and the earth is in shadow, but the sun still illuminates the sky above our heads. We are all familiar with the bright red and orange colours at sunrise and sunset, but there are equally stunning colours in the sky when the sun is just below the horizon. At these times of the day the light can change dramatically in just a few minutes, as the angle of the sun changes and its light is refracted through the different particles in the atmosphere. It is a great time to take photographs, as the slightly darker skies reduce the contrast in the scene, meaning that all the colours of the scene can be captured without worrying about your camera’s dynamic range.

The periods around sunrise and sunset are known as the ‘golden’ or ‘magic’ hours, with the best times about an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise. The light produced at these times is warm and golden, so it will cast a wonderful glow across the land. Don’t forget that you can include imposing mountains, rolling hills, amazing valleys and meandering rivers in your scenes.

Please visit the APOY 2012 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY entry email address, and the disclaimers that must be copied and pasted into an email entry.

1st prize
The first-prize winner will receive a Samsung NX200 with 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, a Samsung 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens, a Samsung ED-SEF15A flash and a 16MB SDHC Plus memory card, worth a total of £1,568.96. The NX200 is a compact system camera with a 20.3-million-pixel, APS-C CMOS sensor. It has high-speed capture (7fps) and ultra-fast autofocus (100ms), while the ISO range of 100-12,800 lets you take high-speed photos even in low light. Samsung’s 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 telephoto zoom has a 35mm viewing-angle equivalent of 27-300mm, and is ideal for both long-distance landscapes and incredible close-ups.

2nd prize
The second-prize winner will receive a Samsung WB850F compact camera and a 16MB SDHC Plus memory card worth a total of £288.98. The WB850F travel compact has a 16-million-pixel, BSI (Back Side Illuminated) CMOS sensor to help reduce image noise and distortion, even in low-light conditions, and a 21x optical zoom lens (23-483mm equivalent). The Samsung WB850F also has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, so users can email photos or share them on social network sites quickly and easily.

3rd prize
The third-prize winner will receive a £250 Jessops Gift Card. Jessops Gift Cards are only redeemable in store and not online. Overseas winners will be contacted by phone about how to claim their prize.

Here are some tips and suggestions to help you get started

Why not try…

Photo by Damien Demolder

Colour
The colours at dawn and dusk are the reason that photography at this time of day is an attractive proposition. However, there is a decision to be made when it comes to how the colours in the image are represented. Should the colour saturation be increased to create a bolder, more striking image, or should the saturation be kept to a minimum to keep the subtle natural hues? Remember, the light can change dramatically in just a few minutes, so don’t take just one shot and be done with it – get to your scene early and stay a little longer, even if you think you have your shot. See how thelight and colour evolves.

Photo by Tim Coleman 

Silhouettes
Try using the sky as a backdrop or search for an interesting object that can be photographed as a silhouette. Look for interesting shapes from trees, rocks or wildlife that would work as a silhouette. To get the best image quality, expose the scene as much as you can without burning out the highlights. Remember that you can always make the image darker to create a silhouette, and this will also help to reduce any image noise.

Photo by Damien Demolder

Low-angled light
Not long after sunrise and not long before sunset, when the sun is low in the sky, you’ll find the most remarkable raking light that perfectly shows off the form of three-dimensional elements. This light is often beautifully soft as it diffuses through multiple layers of cloud near the horizon, so it produces wonderful dark shadows without the harsh highlights that usually go with them. If you shoot towards the light you can fill your frame with backlit objects sporting golden haloes, graphic semi-silhouettes and skies with peachy hues. It’s a wonderful time of day in almost any season.

Please visit the APOY 2012 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY entry email address, and the disclaimers that must be copied and pasted into an email entry.
If you wish to enter by post please remember to include your entry form.

**Entries must be received by 5pm on 25 May 2012**

In association with Samsung and Jessops