APOY 2009 Round 7 Bold Colour

Black & white photography may be timeless, but nothing reveals the world more as it actually is than capturing the vibrancy of its many colours. The first modern colour film was Kodachrome, launched in 1935, and only recently, some 75 years later, have we learned of its demise.

It is somewhat fitting, then, that this month marks the launch of our Bold Colour round of APOY, and we ask you to celebrate the richness and diversity of the many colours around you – at this time of year, more than ever.

Below we have offered some tips and techniques to help you get started. With such a wide range of possibilities to choose from, we hope to see a full and diverse group of images this month. Judging by what we?ve seen in the rounds so far, we?re sure we will.

We would like to remind you that you must include your address and details of your image in your email entry so we can judge your photograph accurately. Also, without your address and other contact details we cannot reach you in the event that you win. Please go to APOY 2009 for further details.

With a summer heatwave under our belts and all the beautiful flowers in full bloom, there is perhaps no better time for our Bold Colour round of APOY. Unlike all those dull days during the year that we suffer, this is the month for you to forget about monochrome conversion and concentrate on the world of colour.

There are many picture opportunities out there for you to consider. For instance, if you live near the seaside you might wish to photograph a sunset over the beach or fields of purple heather. Macro lovers may find bold colour on the backs of ladybirds or within the inner depths of flowers. Even portraiture affords a wide range of possibilities in the types of dress and locations you choose for your subjects.

One thing to remember before you get started is that while bright midday sunlight can produce intense colours, it tends to wash out the lighter colours in your highlight areas. Waiting for the golden hours of early morning and late afternoon will ensure richer colours all around.


Everyone wants bold colour, but sometimes what we see in our hanging baskets and countryside walks fails to reproduce in print. The temptation is to increase the vibrancy of your colours by pulling the saturation slider far to the right, but there is a fine line to tread. Too much saturation looks false. To get a more balanced effect, such as with these apples, create an Adjustment Layer and increase your saturation. Then adjust the opacity slider at the top of your Layers palette to fine-tune the overall effect it will have on your image.

Use a single colour

This Italian piazza is dominated by its red brick paving stones and facades. On its own, your eye can get lost searing for a point of interest. By frame this couple in the foreground, however, the striking teal colour of the woman’s outfit breaks up the scene and give the eye an immediate point of interest. If you’re in a green landscape or grey urban environment, try looking for a strong isolated colour that you can include in your composition to create a focal point.


A sure-fire way of capturing rich, saturated tones is to underexpose an image by anywhere up to a full stop. This works particularly well with skies, making the blue stronger, but it?s also quite effective with portraiture. In strong summer sun, skin tones can be difficult to capture without bleaching them out. Move close and meter from your subject?s skin, then try stopping down by a third. Lock that exposure and then recompose and shoot. You?ll find that you not only get pleasing skin tones, but richness in your primary colours as well.

1st prize

Our first-place winner will receive Canon?s new 15.1MP EOS 500D standard kit, worth £1,399.99. The lucky winner will benefit from continuous shooting at up to 3.4fps with up to 170 JPEG burst, as well as nine-point AF and a high ISO up to 12800, making it ideal for low-light conditions.

It also boasts a 3in Clear View LCD with Live View mode and the ability to record High Definition videos. Included in the kit is Canon?s EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens. With a zoom range of 11x, four- stop Image Stabilizer, it is the perfect all-rounder.

2nd prize

Our second-place winner will receive Canon?s PowerShot SX10 IS compact camera, worth £399. The ten-megapixel PowerShot SX10 IS features a 20x wideangle zoom with optical Image Stabilizer, for great telephoto performance. The SX10 IS also boasts a 2.5in vari-angle LCD, full manual mode and DIGIC 4, as well as Advanced Face Detection and anti-blur technology.

3rd prize

A Canon PIXMA MP630 printer, worth £179, goes to our third-place winner. Boasting 9600x2400dpi and 1pl photolab-quality prints, the PIXMA MP630 uses five single inks and can produce a 10x15cm borderless photo in around 20 seconds. Other features include a 6.2cm colour TFT display with Easy-Scroll Wheel, a 4800dpi scanner and DVD/CD printing.

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