Enter the APOY 2016 Round: Blackout - Black & White. This is the final round for this year's competition - closes 30 October 2016

APOY 2016 logo 350

APOY 2016 Round 8: Blackout – Black & White

***Please visit the APOY 2016 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 past into an email entry. This round is Black & White

Entries must be received midnight (UK time) on 30 October 2016

The final round of APOY 2016 is Blackout, where we want to see your best black & white images. Black & white has always proved popular, not just in APOY but in Amateur Photographer generally. When we remove colour from the equation, the rules of composition, framing and lighting shift their parameters and require the photographer (and viewer) to see the world in a vastly different way.

 

Black & white

Black & White. Photo by Pawel Pentlinowski

Many photographers who work exclusively in black & white maintain that colour is a distraction in a photograph. Remove it and the viewer is free to focus on the graphic elements of an image: angles, shapes, lines and textures. Light is the other key factor here. When black & white and atmospheric lighting combine, the power of an image can seem all-enveloping. You’d do well to look at some of the greatest images of the masters of black & white photography, such as André Kertész, Bill Brandt, Michael Kenna and Sebastião Salgado. Turn the page for some tips and ideas.

This month’s prize

Win a Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Art lens, an 82mm WR Circular Polarising filter and Sigma USB dock

APOY 2016 Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Art lens, an 82mm WR Circular Polarising filter and Sigma USB dock

The winner of APOY round eight will receive a Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG HSM Art lens, an 82mm WR Circular Polarising filter and a Sigma USB Dock – a prize total worth £1,004.97.

The Sigma 24-105mm F4 covers the basic shooting range from wide to mid-telephoto. Moreover, its constant aperture of F4, OS (Optical Stabilizer) and HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) enhance the usability of the lens. It is ideal for portraits, landscapes and general photography. This lens incorporates an OS system that offers superior stabilisation, making it possible to compensate for camera shake even in macro photography. The wide zoom ring of the lens ensures convenient handling. Putting the zoom ring in front allows the lens barrel to be more compact. The inner focusing system eliminates front lens rotation, enhancing the stability of the lens and allowing use of Circular Polarising filters, one of which you will also receive. That’s as well as a Sigma USB Dock, which allows you to update your lens’s firmware.

A few tips to set you on your way to shooting monochrome images

Visualisation

Black & White

Visualisation. Photo by Aaron Bennett

The key to great images is to think about how colour translates into tone. Notice the tones in the scene and the proportion of shadows and highlights.

Patterns and Textures

Black & white

Patterns and Textures. Photo by Aaron Bennett

When colour is removed, a scene can look flat if there’s nothing of interest to see. Since you can’t rely on bold colours for impact, you could always try incorporating textures and patterns into your image.

Atmosphere

Black & White

Atmosphere. Photo by Nick Nunn

Black & White can be used to create real atmosphere at the right event and location. Nicky Nunn’s image taken during a boxing match is a perfect example of how mood in monochrome can be captured.

Silhouettes

Black & White

Silhouettes. Photo by Jean Jameson

Exposing for the highlights can create a striking image. This is particularly effective if you’re looking to achieve black & white silhouettes. Just make sure your subject has a defined shape.

 

Entries must be received midnight (UK time) on 30 October 2016

***Please visit the APOY 2016 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 past into an email entry.

APOY 2015