APOY 2013 Round Nine - Going Abstract

APOY 2013 Round Nine – Going Abstract

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 25 October 2013

Round 9 of this year’s Amateur Photographer of the Year competition is Going Abstract (textures, shapes and colours). The word abstract can mean many things. It can mean a departure from reality in the depiction of objects in art or it can mean something difficult to understand or something largely without concrete form. These are all correct and helpful definitions, but it’s important not to get lost in definitions. For this round we want you simply to think of ‘abstract’ as an exploration of the interaction between form, texture, shape and colour of any subject.

We have thousands of pounds’ worth of fantastic Panasonic camera equipment up for grabs, as well as the chance to be crowned Amateur Photographer of the Year 2013.. The closing date for round 9 is 25 October 2013. First prize is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 with Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph Mega OIS and Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 Asph Mega OIS lenses, worth a total of £1,359.98. Second prize is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 with Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph Mega OIS lens, worth £499.99. Third prize is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 worth £199.99. That’s a prize package worth more than £2,059.96! The top 30 photographs will be published in our 30 November 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.

Photo by Jan Michalec

Abstract is a genre of photography that is gaining more of a presence on websites such as Flickr and 500px. While it’s clear that the term ‘abstract’ means slightly different things to different people, there are uniting themes throughout everyone’s images. Abstract photography concerns itself with exploring the world through details.

That doesn’t mean just getting in close with a macro lens. It means shooting a subject in such a way that it is separated from usual representations of that object. It can mean shooting and framing your images so that the primary concern is squarely on the strange patterns, shapes and textures that make up the world around us.

Take a look at some of the images on the opposite page and you’ll get a good idea of what that means. Abstracts can be found everywhere, and in everything, from the street where you live to the darkest forest. We’re putting no restrictions on your subject. This is your chance to be truly experimental with your image making. Black & white or colour, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure that the pictures you find on your travels are visually engaging and exciting.


First Prize

The first-prize winner will receive a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 with Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph Mega OIS and Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 Asph Mega OIS lenses, worth a total of £1,359.98. The G6 is a digital single-lens mirrorless camera with a 16.05-million-pixel, micro four thirds, Live MOS sensor.

It has a 7fps high-speed burst, a 3in, 1.036-million-dot TFT LCD with Touch monitor, and a 1.44-million-dot OLED EVF. Other features include full HD (1920×1080-pixel) video at 50p (50Hz) in AVCHD Progressive and MP4 format, plus Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC technology. The Leica 45mm f/2.8 Asph lens has a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture designed to produce minimum distortion and soft focus.

Second Prize
The second-prize winner will receive a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 with Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph Mega OIS lens worth £499.99. The 16-million-pixel GF6 has a Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine featuring an advanced noise-reduction system. It also boasts quick start-up and Light Speed AF, making it possible to capture fast-moving subjects clearly. Other features include creative panorama and creative control with 19 filter effects, Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC technology and full HD (1920×1080-pixel) video with stereo sound.


Third Prize
The third-prize winner will receive a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 worth £199.99. The 16-million-pixel LZ30 bridge camera has a 25mm wideangle lens with 35x optical zoom (25-875mm equivalent). The Extra Optical Zoom function extends zoom power to 78.8x (at 3-million-pixel resolution) by using the centre part of the CCD to bring subjects even closer. The LZ30 has Creative Control with 10 effects and Creative Retouch with 11 effects, while HD video can be recorded in 1280x720p Quick Time Motion JPEG format.

Here are some

tips and suggestions to help you get started

Why not try…


Photo by Peter Amies

Man-made Abstracts
Abstracts are everywhere. It really is just a matter of keeping your eyes open. Perhaps one of the simplest places to find abstracts is in a man-made structure, such as a tower block. Take a look at this shot from previous APOY entrant Peter Amies. It’s a simple shot, but one that works incredibly well. He has presented just enough information so we have a general idea of what we’re seeing, but he has withheld just enough so we can still get lost in the tones and shapes. While shots like this are not difficult to find, they are not always immediately apparent. The trick is to see the scene in small sections. What will a particular area look like separated from the environment? Take some time to explore an area through your camera’s viewfinder. You may be surprised by the shots that jump out at you.


Photo by Alan Wilson


Natural Abstracts
We’ve mentioned that abstracts can focus on texture and colour, and these can be found in some very interesting places. This is Alan Wilson’s shot from one of our previous Masterclasses. Although we can clearly see a fin (the subject is, of course, a fish) there is still something unusual about the image. It’s not often we see a fish this close. The texture of the scales is beautiful, and the unusual light – a result of a desk lamp and a wrongly set white balance – all add to the success of the shot.

Photo by Karl Skerstins


Unexpected Places
As you’ve probably noticed by now, abstract is a quite general term for what we’re looking for. It covers a wide range of subjects. This image, and the one by Jan Michalec, is another good example of the kind of thing we’re looking for in this round. Both images were found in woodland areas. The image by Jan Michalec was spotted on a tree trunk. It’s a beautiful and simple picture that reveals the rich colour of the bark and the intricate patterns that are only spotted on closer inspection. This shot of a tree’s reflection in a puddle by Karl Skerstins reduces the visual information down even further by removing colour. Instead, it allows the viewer’s eye to absorb itself in the strong textures of the mud, and the forms and patterns within the water reflection.

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 25 October 2013