APOY 2011 Round Seven – Away from Home

Please visit the APOY11 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 26 August 2011

We might be more than halfway through this year?s Amateur Photographer of the Year competition, but there are still four exciting rounds left to enter and thousands of pounds? worth of fantastic Canon prizes to be won. The overall prize of £5,000-worth of Canon camera equipment is still up for grabs.

The theme for round seven is Away from home ? in other words, travel photography. We are looking for eye-catching and inventive images of people, architecture, landscapes and so on, taken outside the area in which you live. This doesn?t mean your image has to be taken in another country (although it could be), as an imaginative coastal shot taken in Blackpool is just as valid as an image of a bustling street market in Morocco or a white sandy beach with clear blue waters. In fact, we?re looking for images that avoid the obvious subjects and instead offer something a little different.

photo by Damien Demolder

Try to think creatively. Original images that are well conceived, interpret the brief in an innovative way and are technically excellent will catch the judges? attention. The winner of round seven will receive a Canon EOS 60D with an EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens worth a total of £1,299.99. The Canon EOS 60D and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens is an ideal camera and lens combination for travel photography. The closing date for round 7 is 26 August 2011. The top three winners will each receive a fantastic Canon camera and the top 30 highest scoring images will be published in AP 24 September 2011. The scores from the top 50 images will also be posted on our website.

Information explaining how to enter can be found on the APOY 2011 homepage. Remember to use your full name as the file name and don?t forget to paste the disclaimer into the body of your email if you are sending your entry to us electronically. Please also include a sentence explaining where and how you took your image, plus the camera and lens you used. Most importantly, don?t forget to include a telephone number and your postal address so we can contact you if you win.

The theme for round seven is one that is perfect for the summer holiday season: travel photography. Whether you are jetting off to an exotic island, or jumping in the car to another part of the UK, there are copious opportunities to create captivating travel images. From classic landmarks in tourist areas to less well traversed locations, we?re looking for images that capture the essence of the place or present it in a new, compelling way. The central challenge is how to photograph a scene that has been photographed hundreds of times before ? how to create an image that is a little bit different.

We?ve seen hundreds of photographs of the Eiffel Tower, for example, so how can you make yours unique? This will come down to how you interpret the scene in front of you, the composition you choose, choice of lens and so on. It may be an idea to stay away from the most often photographed subjects, but if you do choose a popular location or subject, try framing it in an unusual way or shooting from a different vantage point. Famous landmarks may be the obvious choice, but there is a lot of world out there to explore, both far away and closer to home, so get out there and start photographing it!

Why not try?

Here are some tips and suggestions to help you get started

photo by Damien Demolder

Capturing colour

Colour and how you use it within the frame can make or break a shot. It is a powerful tool and, if used well, it can lift your image instantly. Think carefully about your colour palette when composing your shot ? what mood are you trying to convey? You could use soft, muted colours to create an atmospheric image or perhaps your intention is to capture the vibrancy of a location, in which case framing your shot to make a feature of bright colours might be an option. You could even try blurring colours in the frame by using a slow shutter speed.

photo by Damien Demolder

Framing and composing your shot

You?ve spotted a potential scene and you know there is a shot to be had, but how do you assemble the elements in the frame to create an interesting image rather than just a record shot of the scene in front of you? What should you include and leave out? Would getting down low or photographing from above create a punchier shot? Take time when composing your image ? don?t rush straight in and click the shutter straightaway, Consider what you are trying to portray and you?ll end up with a far stronger image.

photo by Damien Demolder

Time of day and use of light

From emotive early morning shots featuring glorious golden sunlight to exhilarating, moody cityscapes at night filled with neon lights, there are countless ways to incorporate light into your composition. As ever, the time of day that you take your image is an important consideration. The ?golden hours? of dawn or dusk are always popular options, but you could try shooting at night or during the middle of the day to see if you can use shadows or bright sunlight for contrast. Backlighting to create silhouettes could also work, so think creatively!

1st prize

The winner of round seven will receive Canon?s 18-million-pixel EOS 60D with an EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens worth a total of £1,299.99. With its 18-million-pixel APS-C sensor and standard ISO range of 100-6400, extendable to 12800, the EOS 60D captures high levels of detail with minimal noise in low-light conditions. A nine-point autofocus (AF) system provides swift and accurate focusing, while the 7.7cm (3in) vari-angle wide LCD monitor offers added flexibility, allowing photographers to view their images in incredible detail from a variety of angles. The EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is an ideal general-purpose standard zoom that provides great performance in low-light conditions.

2nd prize

The second-placed winner will receive Canon?s 14.1-million-pixel PowerShot SX30 IS digital compact camera. With its 24mm ultra-wide, 35x optical zoom lens, the PowerShot SX30 IS provides full manual control, HD movie recording, and many other creative and automatic shooting modes. The 6.8cm (2.7in) vari-angle LCD screen and hotshoe allow users to extend their creativity by shooting from different angles and with a range of compatible Canon accessories.

3rd prize

Our third-placed winner will receive Canon?s PowerShot SX220 HS digital compact camera. With its HS System and 28mm 14x optical zoom, the PowerShot SX220 HS records high-quality HD movies with stereo sound. The optical zoom can be used for filming, while the Dynamic IS reduces the effect of camera shake and movement when shooting on the move.

Please visit the APOY11 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 26 August 2011

In association with Canon