The RSPCA is encouraging under-19s to enter its 2015 wildlife photography competition as it unveils a new category

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‘Lunch for a cow’ by Niall Eddleston, age 10. Winner of the under 12’s category in 2013

A top prize of a weekend photography break with award-winning photographer Danny Green is on offer for one talented young wildlife photographer in the RSPCA’s Young Photographer Awards.

This year the Awards will include a new Farm Animals category, as well as returning categories such as Pet Personalities and Portfolio.

There are also separate age categories for under 12s, 12-15 years, and 16-18 years.

The overall winner will be chosen from the winners of each category by the panel of judges, which this year includes Amateur Photographer’s Features and Technique Editor Phil Hall.

Also on the panel is Springwatch presenter Chris Packham, who said: ‘I have been judging the RSPCA’s Young Photographer Awards for many years and I am always amazed by the high standard of entries.

‘We see some incredibly beautiful images of wildlife and this year I’m hoping we will also get some photos of pets mixed in and some images of animals down on the farm for the new category too.’

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‘Seal at Sunrise’ by Owen Hearn, age 16. Overall winner for YPAs 2014 and first place in the 12-15 category

Another judge, professional wildlife photographer Andrew Forsyth, offered young people a few tips for success:

– ‘Be original. Don’t try to copy pictures you’ve seen in previous years or by another photographer. Surprise the judges with something new.’

– ‘Find a subject and work at it. Don’t just rely on a lucky shot, find an animal that you can photograph over and over. Get to know your subject inside out and use that knowledge to improve your pictures.’

– ‘Get to know your camera. Learn how to change the camera settings without thinking about them so that you won’t miss a golden opportunity.’

– ‘Get feedback from people as you work. Trust your instincts and always ask yourself, how can I improve this picture? Then go out and do it…’

The closing date is midnight on Sunday 23 August. To enter the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2015 competition, visit young.rspca.org.uk/ypa/home