APOY 2011 Round Six – People at 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 29 July 2011

We?ve reached the halfway mark in this year?s Amateur Photographer of the Year competition, and if you haven?t entered yet, what are you waiting for? There?s still time to send your entry to us to be in with a chance of being crowned Amateur Photographer of the Year 2011 and winning £5,000-worth of Canon camera equipment as the overall prize.

The theme for round six is People at home. For this round, portraiture is the name of the game. However, we?re not just looking for portraits of family members taken at home, although this could be a subject area worth exploring. This month?s theme encompasses environmental portraits ? people you might not necessarily know, but who live in interesting places, such as a neighbour who lives in a converted windmill, a vet whose home is full of animals or an avid model-train collector.

photo by Damien Demolder

We are looking for original images that are well conceived, technically excellent and explore the subject in a creative way. The winner of round six will receive a Canon EOS 600D with an EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens, a PIXMA MG8150 all-in-one printer and three packs of A4 paper, worth a total of £1,307.97. The Canon EOS 600D and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens is an ideal camera and lens combination for photographing people. The closing date for round 6 is 29 July 2011. The top three winners from this round will each receive a fantastic Canon camera and the top 30 highest scoring images will be published in AP 27 August 2011. The scores from the top 50 images will be published 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.

This month?s People at home theme offers plenty of scope to stretch your imagination. You could include individual or group portraits of members of your family, candid or posed, but you could also include people outside your immediate family ? neighbours, friends or characters in your area ? who may live in an interesting environment. You could photograph a farmer at home on the farm or an elderly neighbour in a care home, for example. Don?t just think about producing a full-length portrait ? try photographing a person?s hands as they are knitting, for example, or an area of their face as they stare out of the window.

Detail shots can be highly effective, so try to be imaginative when deciding your composition. Alternatively, you may want to use a wideangle lens to show the person in their surroundings. As ever when photographing people, be sensitive to their feelings. If you can build a relationship with the person you are photographing, this may help you to achieve more intimate portraits. There are huge opportunities within this theme, and points will be awarded for creativity, technical ability and interpretation.

photo by Damien Demolder

Framing your shot

It goes without saying that in portrait photography, as much as in any other photographic genre, the way you frame your shot affects the look and feel of your final image. For this reason alone it is worth spending time deciding how to compose for impact. Do you want to include the whole person in the frame or show just part of the figure? How much of the environment do you want to show? We?re looking for well-considered portraits so take time to explore your subject from different angles and focal lengths.

photo by Damien Demolder

Group or individual portraits?

Another point to consider when choosing your subject is whether you want to photograph one person or multiple people. When photographing a group, you?ll need to think about how you position the people in the frame so they are well balanced. What mood are you hoping to create and how can you best achieve this? Communication with your subject or subjects is vital ? take time to make them feel at ease. You?ll notice the difference in your images if you do.

photo by Damien Demolder


An important decision will be how you light your portrait image. Do you want to use natural light or flash, LED, fluorescent or incandescent continuous lights? Will you be shooting during the day or at night? The lighting you choose will depend on what you want to achieve in your image. It will also affect your camera settings and the equipment you use. For example, shooting indoors where there is limited light may require a higher ISO setting or a longer shutter speed, in which case you?ll need to use a tripod. You may also find a reflector or softbox useful. Whatever you decide, keep things simple!

1st prize

The winner of round six will receive Canon?s 18-million-pixel EOS 600D with an EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens, plus a PIXMA MG8150 all-in-one inkjet printer and three packs of PP-201 A4 Photo Paper Plus Glossy, worth a total of £1,307.97. The EOS 600D offers full HD 1080p video recording, up to 3.7fps continuous shooting and a 3in, 1.04-million-dot vari-angle LCD screen. 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. The PIXMA MG8150 Wi-Fi all-in-one inkjet printer with 4800dpi CCD scanner is able to scan 35mm film and produces photolab-quality prints, while Canon?s PP-201 is a high-quality heavyweight photo paper.

2nd prize

Our second-placed winner will receive Canon?s IXUS 115 HS, a PIXMA MG6150 inkjet Wi-Fi all-in-one printer and two packs of PP-201 A4 Photo Paper Plus Glossy worth a total of £397.98.

With an HS system that is great for low-light shots, plus Smart Auto and full HD movies, the stylish, metal-bodied IXUS 115 HS is a fantastic digital compact camera. Meanwhile, the PIXMA MG6150 has an Intelligent Touch System that can create photolab-quality prints.

3rd prize

Our third-placed winner will receive Canon?s PowerShot A3200 IS and PIXMA MG5250 inkjet Wi-Fi all-in-one printer plus one pack of PP-201 A4 Photo Paper Plus Glossy.

The 14.1MP PowerShot A3200 IS has a 5x zoom lens plus optical Image Stabilizer, while the PIXMA MG5250 has five single inks and a 9600dpi

print resolution.

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 29 July 2011

In association with Canon