It?s a new year, and as such you may be thinking about new resolutions. No, not quitting smoking or getting fit, but the resolutions in those new cameras you got for Christmas. As AP?s new Amateur Photographer of the Year competition gets underway, now is the perfect time to learn how to use that new DSLR.

Luckily for you APOY 2008 promises to be one of the best yet, with 10 challenging new rounds. This year we also have a new sponsor in Samsung, which as part of its £25,000 prize fund will award monthly winners with its top-end dslrs, the GX-10 and GX-20, top digital compacts and specialist lenses to fit the theme of the round.

Once a round has closed, judges will narrow the entries to a final group of 50 and score each image on a scale from one to 10. These scores will be entered into our master league table, and the three highest-scoring images will win that round?s respective prizes. Those with the top 30 scores will be published in AP, while all 50 will be featured on AP?s website. Should your entry not make the top 50, perhaps you?d like Garry Mcnamara to explain why. See the entry form for details, along with our rules for entry.

After all 10 rounds, the photographer with the most points on our league table will be crowned Amateur Photographer of the Year 2008 and win a £3,000 Virgin holiday voucher from Samsung. The two runners-up will each receive Virgin holiday vouchers for £1,000.

Plan your APOY year

Below is a list of this year?s rounds, a synopsis of what we?re looking for and the date they will be announced. Ultimately, we want you to think outside the box. Be keen, creative, proficient and interpret these themes in a personal way that means something to you.

Round Synopsis Round Announced Results Published
Face of the Earth Landscapes 2 February 29 March
Arranged By… Still Life 1 March 26 April
Intimate Detail Macro, emotions 5 April 31 May
Humanity Portraits, man’s imprint 3 May 28 June
Structure Architecture, order 7 June 26 July
Inhabitants People, Flora, Fauna 5 July 30 August
Motion Actions 2 August 27 September
My Life Local Reportage 6 September 25 October
Not My Life How Others Exist 4 October 29 November
Self-Portrait How You See Yourself 1 November 10 January


Entrants may submit only one photograph per month, as either an unmounted print (max size 210x297mm) or slide (no glass mounts please), in colour or black & white. The entrant?s name, address and daytime phone number must be attached to the slide mount or the back of the print. Photos must not previously have been published in a national uk photography magazine. Each entry must be accompanied by the correct entry form, with all sections completed. A photocopy will be accepted. All submissions must be well packaged in a stiffened envelope (no tubes, please) bearing sufficient postage, and entrants wanting their picture back must include a stiffened sae stamped to sufficient value for their return. This competition is open to bona fide amateur photographers and students only. That is, entrants should not earn more than 10% of their total annual income from photography. Copyright of all entries remains with the photographer, but amateur photographer and samsung reserve the right to use entries, without payment, to promote the competition. Employees of ipc media and samsung, and their families, may not enter this competition. Prizes are as stated and no cash or other alternative can be offered to the monthly prizes or overall prize of a £3,000 virgin holiday voucher and two £1,000 virgin holiday vouchers for the runners up. Samsung has the right to substitute the prize for a similar item of equal or higher value if the stated prize is not available. No money can be added to the overall prize. The overall winner must choose their prize within six weeks of being notified. In the event of a tie score, the editor will choose a winner. The editor?s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. By entering this competition you grant permission to ap and samsung to reproduce your photos for display at an exhibition, and on the ap and samsung websites, should they be selected.

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