APOY 2013 – Round One – Portraits in Artificial Light

Please visit the APOY 2013 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 28 February 2013

Round 1
The theme for round 1 is Portraits in Artificial Light. The
closing date is Thursday 28 February 2013. First prize is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5
plus Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 Asph lens worth a total of £1,347.98. Second
prize is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 worth £469.99. Third prize is a Panasonic
Lumix DMC-XS1 worth £119.99 That’s a fantastic prize package worth £1,937.96.
The top 30 photographs will be published in our 30 March issue, while the
scores from the top 50 images will be posted on our website.

How to enter
Please visit the APOY 2013 home page for information explaining how to enter. 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 your image, plus
the camera and lens used with aperture and focal-length details. Remember to
include a telephone number and your postal address so we can contact you if you

Photo by Damien Demolder

For round 1 of this year’s Amateur Photographer of the Year
competition, we’re looking for portraits taken under artificial light. It
doesn’t matter where your images are taken, but the sole stipulation is that
they are taken using mainly artificial sources of light.

What do we mean by this? Well, you can use anything but
daylight as your principal source of light. Artificial light comes in many
forms. The romantic glow of candlelight, for example, is perfectly acceptable.
How many candles you use is up to you, but be careful not to burn the house
down! You may also want to consider using flash. Its creative application can
elevate an ordinary shot into something engaging and accomplished. And if you
want to try something really exciting, take a look at the advice offered by our
new light-painting expert Michael Bosanko in the Masterclass published in AP 9

The subject, as we’ve said, is portraiture. Make of this
what you will. This can include family members, people at work or even complete
strangers (check out Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s street work with flash for some
elaborate examples of this). The location can be anywhere – at home, work or on
the street – just keep the light artificial.

Entries must be received by 5pm on 28 February 2013

1st prize
The first-prize winner will receive a £798.99 Panasonic Lumix
DMC-G5 plus a Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 Asph lens worth £548.99 The G5 is a
compact system camera with a 16.05-million-pixel, four thirds, Live MOS sensor.
It has 6fps high-speed continuous shooting, a 3in, 920,000-dot articulated LCD
touchscreen, and a 1.44-million-dot EVF.

Other features include a Venus 7 HD II
engine so noise is well controlled even at high ISO sensitivities, plus
full-area focusing and pinpoint AF for accurate framing. The Leica DG Summilux
25mm f/1.4 Asph lens has a bright f/1.4 maximum aperture that provides superb
image quality with minimum distortion, plus a beautiful soft focus. The
versatile 25mm focal distance (equivalent to 50mm on a 35mm camera) is ideal
for this round’s subject of portraits in artificial light.

2nd prize
The second-prize winner will receive a Panasonic Lumix
DMC-LX7 worth £469.99. This high-spec compact camera has a 10.1-million-pixel
High-Sensitivity MOS sensor, f/1.4-2.3 (24-90mm equivalent) Leica
Vario-Summilux lens and full manual control. The LX7 also features a built-in
3-stop ND filter, Creative Control with 16 artistic effects, such as radial
defocus and smooth defocus, plus a number of versatile shooting features,
including time-lapse shot. The LX7 can record full HD video in either AVCHD at
50fps or in MP4 at 25fps.

3rd prize
The third-prize winner will receive a newly launched
Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 (in white) worth £119.99 Panasonic claims that the
16.1-million-pixel XS1 has the world’s slimmest body profile, and it’s
certainly skinny with a 14mm-deep body. With its 5x optical zoom with 24mm
ultra-wideangle lens and tiny form, the XS1 is the ultimate
carry-it-with-you-everywhere camera. Other features include Mega OIS, HD video,
and host of creative artistic features and functions, including 180° panorama

Here are some tips and suggestions to help you get started

Why not try…

 Photo by Mark Wills

Your subject
Portraiture comes in many forms. An image can be staged,
taken covertly or even accidentally.

The trick here is to use the light to
bring something out of your subject, some hidden quality or one that you
introduce through your ability to instil an atmosphere within the scene.

make sure that your subject/sitter has a reason for being photographed. We’ve
seen countless images of people staring directly into the camera.

Get creative
with your framing and composition. An ordinary subject can be changed
dramatically through the simple application of a wild camera angle or a clever
compositional technique.

Photo by Santosh Kumar Jana

Light sources
Window light can provide us with beautiful images. The
natural light of the sun has been responsible for a great number of the
excellent images that we feature in AP, but for this round we want to take into
consideration other sources of illumination – candles, flash, street lamps,
torches and so on. Take a look at the January’s forum
on our website for some ideas about how the light used to
illuminate the night can be used creatively.
When you’re dealing with a subject such as portraiture, it’s important to treat
the light and subject much as you would a studio-based project. You have
control of the situation. How does the light interact with the subject? What
can you do to improve it? A simple step to the left or the right can make all
the difference. Be experimental.

Photo by David Fletcher

Your setting
Interesting subjects can be found everywhere. More than
that, interesting people can be found everywhere.

But it’s important to
remember that a good subject isn’t enough, particularly if it’s something you
have full control of.

A subject needs an environmental context – it needs a
place to live. Think of your sitter as being an actor on a stage.

Why are they
there? What’s the motivation and the narrative? The environment should tell us
something about the person.

Photography is a medium that tells the viewer a story
through a single frame.

Please visit the APOY 2013 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 28 February 2013