In our ninth round of APOY the cameras were low and the quality high, making From a Low Angle one of our best yet

Simonas Valatka, of Lithuania, has won first prize in our From a Low Angle round of APOY, winning Canon?s 12.2MP EOS 450D and EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens kit, worth £1,129.99. The EOS 450D features 3.5fps capture capability for a continuous burst of up to 53 large JPEG images (six in raw). Its nine-point wide area AF accommodates off-centre subjects, and its EOS Integrated Cleaning System keeps images blemish-free. Canon?s fast-focusing EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM lens offers Image Stabilization and up to three stops compensation, with near-silent USM.

Second prize of a PowerShot SX1 IS, worth £589, goes to Lee Jeffries, of Bolton, Lancashire. A great all-rounder, the SX1 IS offers users a 20x wideangle zoom for incredible reach, with continuous shooting of up to 4fps. With raw recording and full HD movie capability, it also boasts face detection and anti-blur technology.

In third place, Savo Ilic, of London, will receive Canon?s Digital IXUS 110 IS compact camera, worth £319. With 12 million pixels and 4x wide optical IS, this is the perfect camera for any angle or situation. Capable of recording widescreen HD movies, the Digital IXUS 110 IS also features Smart Auto mode and Scene Detection Technology.

The leader board

The leader board remains relatively unchanged after round 9. As usual, our judges were faced with a difficult choice in choosing a winner, as you provided a diverse and creative range of interpretations of this round?s theme, From A Low Angle.

Staying at the top of the leader board is Kathy Wright, who by making the top 30 again this round stays ahead of Sean Slevin and Mani Puthuran, who are in the second and third places respectively. This round?s second-placed winner, Lee Jeffries, inches closer with his strong finish, but remains in fourth. Elsewhere, the leader board stays largely intact. Moving up are Phil Hargreaves, who moves up to fifth, and Mark Cresswell, who jumps to seventh. Be sure to catch the results of Round 10, Low Light, in our special Christmas issue in AP 19-26 December, where we will reveal the winner of Amateur Photographer of the Year 2009.

1 Simonas Valatka, Lithuania 45pts

Canon EOS 400D, 17-70mm, 1/2000sec at f/4.5, ISO 200

Simonas says he is not a big fan of swimming in cold water, but his ten-year-old son loves it. So one day he decided to take his camera when accompanying his son on one of his countless summer ?jumping and splashing sessions?. ?It turned out to be a lot of fun for both of us,? Simonas says. ?Testing different shooting angles, I ended up sitting in the lake with the water up to my neck. My camera was almost touching the water. Shooting as wide as possible at 17mm, combined with my low position, opened up a really unusual perspective of my son.? Simonas says he used a circular polarising filter to darken the sky and even out the exposure. Judges say This is a stunning photograph in so many respects. The unusual perspective speaks for itself. Who has ever seen a subject like this from such an angle? The range of tones is equally striking ? the bright light on the closest leg is a stark contrast to the shadows on the other leg and gives this image great depth. We also love the water droplets falling from his son?s foot

2 Lee Jeffries, Lancashire 44pts

Nikon D3, 14-24mm, 1/250sec at f/2.8

It was a hot day in Los Angeles and a blue sky gave way to incoming clouds. Lee was sitting on a curb with a soft drink, ?trying to relieve some of the tiredness that had crept up on me during a day of talking to, helping and shooting the homeless population in the area. Just as I was about to call it a day, I heard steps behind me. I shuffled around, camera still in my hands, and looked up.? Lee slightly underexposed to maintain some detail in the sky, but still have the exposure needed for the man?s face. Judges say We?re running out of adjectives to describe Lee?s work. How about breathtaking? We love the way the elements seem to be pulled into the light in the sky behind him

3 Savo Ilic, London 43pts

Canon EOS 450D, 60mm, 1/2sec at f/25

Savo took this close-up of a mushroom in North London?s Trent Park. ?I go there often,? he says, ?and several weeks ago I noticed fungi on a dead tree and took a few shots. After a while I realised the best view is from down low because they are translucent ? especially on a sunny day lit with soft contra-light from the sky.? Savo used a mini table tripod to frame his subject in such a tiny space, and used the 60 mm macro lens he won in our Looking Closer round. Judges say Savo has consistently shown a keen eye for making unique compositions, and this is further proof. Stunning

Top 50 entries for this round

  • 1 Simonas Valatka 45pts
  • 2 Lee Jeffries 44pts
  • 3 Savo Ilic 43pts
  • 4 Matthew Reeves 42pts
  • 5 Sean Slevin 41pts
  • 6 Phil Hargreaves 40pts
  • 7 Peter Warrington 39pts
  • 8 Gemma Hutchinson 36pts
  • 9 Phillip Ball 35pts
  • 9 Paul Cunningham 35pts
  • 9 Lee Flack 35pts
  • 9 Alan Johnson 35pts
  • 13 Peter Kewley 34pts
  • 13 Mani Puthuran 34pts
  • 15 Chris Pattison 33pts
  • 15 Ben Pike 33pts
  • 15 Ian Webb 33pts
  • 15 Thomas Wright 33pts
  • 19 Robert Birkby 32pts
  • 19 Mark Cresswell 32pts
  • 19 Mark Newton 32pts
  • 19 Stephen Stringer 32pts
  • 19 Kathy Wright 32pts
  • 19 Martin Yeates 32pts
  • 25 Robert Coombes 31pts
    • 25 Kevin Harvey 31pts
    • 25 Adam Hirons 31pts
    • 25 Steve Webb 31pts
    • 29 Akos Horvath 30pts
    • 29 Dennis Low 30 pts
    • 31 Jenny Bundy 29pts
    • 31 Barrie Cranston 29pts
    • 31 Mark Mortimer 29pts
    • 31 Chris Ould 29pts
    • 31 Neal Reed 29pts
    • 36 James Clegg 28pts
    • 36 Steve Mundy 28pts
    • 36 Rajesh Pandey 28pts
    • 36 Adam Pickersgill 28pts
    • 36 Adam Trigg 28pts
    • 41 Jens Moser 27pts
    • 41 David Osborne 27pts
    • 43 Martyn Civil 26pts
    • 43 Nigel Taylor 26pts
    • 43 Jo Wallace 26pts
    • 46 Jose Silva 25pts
    • 47 Ian Biggs 24pts
    • 47 Graham Glendinning 24ps
    • 47 Chris Knowles 24pts
    • 50 Yunaidi 23pts

    From a Low Angle Gallery

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