Deadline: October 23, 2020
Entry Fee: from £8 to £72
Prizes: valuable prizes, publication in the journal
Amateur Photographer magazine, in partnership with Sigma and Photocrowd, is inviting amateur photographers from around the world to enter its annual photographic competition and the chance to win the title of ‘Amateur Photographer of the Year 2020’.
The competition is made up of 8 rounds that open throughout the year with only your best judged result in each round counting towards your overall score.
- Round 1 – Points of view
According to Amateur Photographer’s most recent reader survey, landscape photography is its most popular genre. The brief here is purposefully loose as we want to see as many different interpretations of “landscape” as possible. We’re happy to receive anything and everything which could be considered a landscape, from modern architecture to grand sweeping mountain vistas. The possibilities truly are endless – don’t be afraid to be abstract in your approach either, as standing out from a crowded field can be truly tricky.
- Round 2 – Monochrome magic
When photographers remove colour from the equation, they are free to concentrate on other aspects of what makes a fantastic photograph. Composition, framing and lighting all take central stage once the distraction of colour is taken away. But it’s not as simple as merely desaturating your images – to successfully shoot in black and white, you need to think in a different way in the first place. There are no shortages of masters of this craft, take a look at the wonderful work of Bill Brandt, Sebastião Salgado, Michael Kenna and many more to give yourself some inspiration.
- Round 3 – Up close and personal
Macro photography is one of the most popular genres of photography – and with good reason. Getting close-up allows us to explore elements of a scene that might otherwise be missed by the naked eye. There’s a whole world of different subjects that you could tackle for this challenge. Plants and natural subjects are the obvious first choice for many, providing a beautiful canvas of colour, shape and texture that function together to form a cohesive whole. But don’t forget to look elsewhere too – we want to see your imagination go wild. Jewellery, insects, shells, feathers, food – in fact anything you care to scrutinise at close quarters are all fair game.
- Round 4 – Keep on moving
Capturing moving subjects is one of the trickiest challenges for any photographer. For this round we want to see your best sports and action shots, which really show off your skills at capturing split-second moments. With no time to get it wrong, those who are successful in this genre know how to anticipate movement, pressing the shutter at the best possible moment. In essence, anything that moves is accepted in this round – from trains, planes and automobiles to sports people in action, we can’t wait to see your interpretation of movement.
- Round 5 – City life
Street photography is at once the hardest and easiest genre of photography. Everybody has access to a subject – just step outside your own front door – but not everybody can produce the kind of skilful work we want to see. Paying attention to the everyday movements of folk as they go about their business – and spotting the extraordinary within the mundane – is what makes great photographers of this genre stand out. Getting to know the work of some of the masters of street can pay dividends. Take a look at Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau and Vivian Maier. More contemporary practioners include Martin Parr, Niall McDiarmid and Nick Turpin, look them all up to see what works – and what doesn’t.
- Round 6 – Natural world
This round is our animal, wildlife and nature category. We want you to point your lens and all creatures great and small. It’s a broad topic with a myriad of subjects waiting to be captured – from your pet pooch, to crabs in rock pools, to lions prowling the Serengeti to your local nature reserve – anything and everything is fair game here. When it comes to our animal friends, research is key. Learn how they behave so you’re ready to strike at the opportune moment for shots which rise above the rest.
- Round 7 – Light and shadow
We want to see how you work with what can easily be defined as the most important aspect of good photography – light, and it’s opposite – shadow. You can really be open with this round. The theme is “Light and Shadow”, but the images can cover any kind of genre. Whether it’s light falling delicately for a portrait, using shadows for composition in street photography, sun beams casting a golden glow over a beautiful landscape – the choice is all yours.
- Round 8 – About face
For this round, we’re looking for images containing people. Whether that takes the form of a portrait, a candid street scene, or even a carefully considered self-portrait is up to you. Portrait photography is a challenging genre, but you have the power tell a thousand different stories with a single image when it’s done well. Great people pictures can be found in all walks of life – turning your lens on those familiar to you, such as family and friends – can help you to see them in a whole new light.
- The overall winner will be awarded the coveted title ‘Amateur Photographer of the Year 2020’, and Sigma equipment of their choosing worth £2,000.
- The expert judged winner of each round (as voted by the AP team of experts) will win Sigma equipment of their choice, up to a value of £1,000 (based on Sigma’s RRP).
- The crowd vote winner of each round will win a one-year digital subscription to the magazine and a one year Master subscription to Photocrowd.
- All contest winners (expert and crowd), plus selections from the expert category in each contest, will be featured in an issue of Amateur Photographer Magazine.
- £8 for a single entry
- £21 for 3 entries
- £36 for 6 entries
- £72 for 24 entries