Amateur Photographer of the Year (APOY) round one: Black and White

For our opening round in our major competition, we are seeking your best black and white images. Removal of colour focuses both the mind and the eye on the subject. Composition, framing and lighting all need to be spot-on and given careful consideration – it’s not a case of simply desaturating your images. Successful photographers of the genre often say they think in a different way in the first place – learning to see in monochrome is half the challenge. Any subject can be submitted in our black & white round, so this is your opportunity to really get creative.

Simple and graphic, this beautifully executed monochrome image won last year’s black & white round. Picture credit: Nguyen Tan Tuan

Your guest judge
The guest judge for Round One of APOY is Gavin Prest. A relative latecomer to photography, he only started taking images seriously in 2012, following a conversation with a photographer while Gavin was an RNLI volunteer lifeboat coxswain. Since then, he has gained a following for his slick, stylised and stunningly lit images, which he sells as limited-edition prints on his website.

What you win
The winner of each round of APOY 2021 receives a £500 voucher to spend on anything at MPB. From top-of-the-range digital medium-format camera bodies, to entry-level DSLRs, as well as the longest telephoto zooms and widest lenses, and useful accessories such as spare batteries and camera bags, MPB is a one-stop shop for used kit. For £500, you could treat yourself to a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, a solid workhorse of a full-frame camera that renders colour and detail beautifully.

Or you might want to consider the mirrorless Fujifilm X-T2, which, being versatile, compact and lightweight, makes a great walkabout or a travel camera. And, of course, you can use your voucher towards your dream camera, if it happens to cost more than £500. There are great second-placed and third-placed prizes, too, which are £100 and £50 respectively, while the winner of the Youth category will win a voucher for £250. Check out the website to take your pick from thousands of items of second-hand gear.