APOY 2013 Round Five - Floral Still Life

APOY 2013 – Round Five – Floral Still Life

Please visit the APOY 2013 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.

Entries must be received by 5pm on 28 June 2013

Round 5 of this year’s Amateur Photographer of the Year competition is Floral Still Life (flower and plant portraits). Flowers and plants have always been a key focus for image makers through the ages, and in this round of APOY we want you to try your hand at capturing the natural beauty of these vibrant subjects.

There are no strict rules here. Your subject can be indoors or out, and shot under either artificial or natural illumination. The trick is to try to bring out and emphasise its inherent quality. See below for some tips and tricks on how to best capture these natural beauties.

Photo by Amy Whitewick

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 2013. The closing date for round 5 is 28 June 2013. First prize is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5, plus Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph Power OIS and Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 Asph Mega OIS lenses, worth a total of £1,579.98. Second prize is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ35, worth £249.99. Third prize is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ9 worth £179.99. That’s a prize package worth more than £2,000! The top 30 photographs will be published in our 27 July 2013 issue, while the scores from the top 50 images will be posted on our website.

How to enter

Please visit the APOY 2013 home page for information explaining how to enter. 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 to us

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. Remember to

include a telephone number and your postal address so we can contact you if you

win.

First Prize
The first-prize winner will receive a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 with Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph Power OIS and Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 Asph Mega OIS lenses, worth £1,579.98 The G5 is a digital single-lens mirrorless camera with a 16.05-million-pixel, four thirds, Live MOS sensor.

It has 6fps high-speed continuous shooting, a 3in, 920,000-dot articulated LCD touchscreen, and a 1.44-million-dot EVF. Other features include a Venus 7 HD II engine to control noise at high ISO sensitivities, plus full-area focusing and pinpoint AF for accurate framing. The Leica 45mm f/2.8 Asph lens has a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture designed to produce minimum distortion and soft focus.

2nd prize
The second-prize winner will receive a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ35 worth £249.99. The camera sports a 24mm ultra wideangle Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens with 20x optical zoom (equivalent to 24-480mm). A new creative panorama function includes 12 filters that allow the user to apply effects to their panoramic images. The TZ35 also features creative control/creative retouch, which offers a total of 14 filter effects. The camera is also capable of recording full HD, 1920×1080-pixel 50i videos.


3rd prize

The third-prize winner will receive a recently launched Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ9, worth £179.99. The slim camera incorporates a 25mm ultra wideangle Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens with 10x optical zoom (equivalent to 25-250mm). The SZ9 can also record 1920×1080-pixel full HD 50i video in AVCHD, and 25p in MP4 format. The SZ9 also includes built-in Wi-Fi connectivity so users can share their images online after capture.

Here are some

tips and suggestions to help you get started

Why not try…

Photo by Eden Beritz

The Principles of Portraiture
While this round focuses on the genre of still life, it’s perhaps important to familiarise yourself with another key term and the principles that surround it: portraiture. We all know what portraiture is, but it’s crucial to understand that portraiture is a word that can happily find a home under various guises. The function of portraiture is to at once accurately represent a subject as well as bring out those qualities that may otherwise remain hidden. This happens through the application of lighting, colour, framing and composition. Flowers and plants, much like people, have characters and covert elements that can be drawn out through this careful and considered art of photography. Treat your subject in the same way you would a person. Think of them as more than an inanimate object.

Photo by Richard Craze

Getting in Close
One of the most exciting things about photography is that it can take us in closer to a subject than we can possibly imagine. Once we begin seeing the world in this way, it can often feel like we’ve crash-landed on an alien planet. Macro photography offers us an opportunity to explore these hidden elements. Flowers and plants are a beautiful canvas of colour, shape and texture, and getting in close can reveal how all of these disparate elements work together to form these beautiful subjects. Richard Craze’s image from APOY 2012 shows just how impressive macro flower photography can be.


Photo by Jack Hood

Lighting and Monchrome
Our first instinct when looking at a flower or plant is to focus on the colour. So what’s the point of taking the colour out of a subject like this and producing a black & white portrait? The answer is atmosphere. A great example of this is Jack Hood’s image, which he produced for round 5 of APOY 2012. Notice how the removal of colour and the brilliant application of dramatic lighting can elevate an otherwise standard portrait of a flower. As mentioned before, flower and plant photography should be about drawing out the character of a subject. Here, Jack has used the light, and monochrome, to reveal the gorgeous shape of the flower and allowed us to revel in the atmosphere.

Please visit the APOY 2013 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.

Entries must be received by 5pm on 28 June 2013