APOY 2012 Round One – Water in the landscape

Welcome to Amateur Photographer of the Year 2012 in association with Samsung and Jessops. To kick-start this year’s competition we begin with a theme that will be close to many photographers’ hearts – landscape photography. But we’re not looking for any landscape images; this month’s theme is specifically, ‘Water in the landscape’. This could be any body of water, including rivers, ponds, reservoirs, estuaries, streams, perhaps the ocean (if there is land nearby) or even puddles.

As always we are looking for images that interpret each theme in an imaginative way. Images likely to catch the judges’ eye are those that are creative, skillfully composed and technically excellent. The closing date for round one is 24 February 2012. The top two winners will each receive a fantastic Samsung camera, while the third prize winner will receive a £250 Jessops voucher. The top 30 highest scoring images will be published in our 31 March issue. The scores from the top 50 images will be posted on our website.

photo by Damien Demolder

Information explaining how to enter can be found on the APOY home page. Please use your full name as the file name and paste the disclaimer into the body of your email if you are sending your entry to us electronically. We also need to know where and how you took the image, plus the camera and lens you used. Remember to include a telephone number and your postal address so we can contact you if you win.

From tempestuous seas to placid, glassy lakes, winding rivers and picturesque ponds, water exists in myriad forms providing countless opportunities to create beautiful or impacting images. No doubt most photographers have, at one time or another, been seduced by the glow of the sun rising over a lake or an atmospheric seascape at sunset. There is surely nothing more gratifying than the sight of an idyllic water scene illuminated in perfect light.

For the first round of APOY 2012, we want you to turn your attention to all the places where water meets the land. This could be a river, lake, sea or canal, to name just a few – any body of water is acceptable as long as there is also land in the composition. You may find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places; a puddle down a country lane or a pond hidden away in a local park, for example, could turn out to be a fruitful subject. Try to think beyond the obvious locations and consider how you could use the subject to your advantage. You might like to use reflections in your image or make colour a key part of your composition. Think also about what time of day you are going to take your image as this will of course affect the way the light falls on the scene.

Please visit the APOY12 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 24 February 2012

1st prize
The first prize winner will receive a Samsung NX200 kit with a Samsung 16mm IFN lens and 16MB SDHC memory card worth £848.97. The NX200 is a compact system camera that delivers professional standard photography. It features premium functions such as a 20.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, high speed capture (including 100ms Advanced Auto Focus), wide range ISO (100-12800), HD movie recording, and Samsung’s unique i-Function lens. The Samsung NX200 is the perfect combination of design and professional performance, delivering DSLR quality imaging in a camera that is compact and easy to use.


2nd prize
The second prize winner will receive a Samsung WB 750 camera and a 1×16 MB SDHC memory card worth £288.98. With its 12.5 Megapixel BSI (Back Side Illuminated) CMOS sensor, which is twice as sensitive as conventional CMOS sensors, the Samsung WB750 is easier than ever to deliver consistent professional images. The WB750 features an 18x optical zoom (Smart-Zoom 24x) and a 24mm ultra-wide lens. Users benefit from high-quality digital photos as well as Full HD video for incredible depth of colour and detail.
3rd prize
The third prize winner will receive a £250 Jessops voucher. Jessops gift cards are only redeemable in store and not online. Overseas winners will need to place their order by telephone with Amateur Photographer. Overseas prizes will be posted by Amateur Photographer.



Here are some tips and suggestions to help you get started

Why not try…

photo by Damien Demolder

Choosing a subject and composing your shot
Finding your subject will be the first challenge – the next will be deciding how to photograph the scene to create a meaningful image. You may have a list of favourite locations that feature water but try venturing somewhere you haven’t been before. You may find a few visits are necessary to build up knowledge about the scene you want to photograph but an adventurous approach may yield unexpected and pleasing results. Think carefully about how you compose your image and try to be creative in your approach. How does the water intersect with the land? What viewpoint do you need to use in order to convincingly realise what you have in mind? Taking the time to really think about what you’re trying to convey will pay off.
photo by Damien Demolder

One of your main considerations will be to ensure you choose an exposure that renders detail in both the water, land and sky in as accurate and balanced a way as possible. Taking a spot meter reading from both the sky and water is one way to go about achieving a balanced exposure. There will inevitably be an element of compromise, especially in scenes where there is a lot of contrast, and you may want to experiment with using a polariser to reduce reflections on the water and to boost the contrast in your image, or a graduated filter to balance your exposure. Try using longer exposures to record movement in the water for emotive effect.

photo by Richard Sibley
Black and white or colour?
Scenes in which water is the subject can be equally effective in both black & white and colour, but deciding which approach to use requires an element of thought at the previsualisation stage. For example, if there are strong shapes and lines or interesting textures in the scene, would they have greater impact in black & white rather than colour? Conversely, you may choose to make a particular colour a subject in your image in its own right, in which case, how could you frame your shot to accentuate this?

Please visit the APOY12 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 24 February 2012

In association with Samsung and Jessops