Could you be the Irish Times Amateur Photographer of the Year?
Points before you shoot Advice from our experts – including two of the judges
We’re teaming up with Canon and Picturk to launch the Irish Times Amateur Photographer of the Year Awards
Our judges are looking for photographers who show a keen eye and for images that have impact, originality and creativity
The categories celebrate the the breadth of photography: Colour, Monochrome, Open, Travel, Nature and Portraiture, plus a ‘Source’ magazine prize
There will be a €2,000 cash prize for the Irish Times Amateur Photographer of the Year, plus €2,000 for the best photograph
Throughout the process entries will appear in ‘The Irish Times’ and on irishtimes.com, showcasing individual photographers’ work
The top 100 entrants will have their work published in the awards catalogue, of which each photographer featured will receive a copy
You’ll find full details of how to apply, the entry fee and the judging process at irishtimes.com/photographyawards. The closing date is November 3rd.
Trish Lambe GALLERY OF PHOTOGRAPHY
What is the most common mistake photographers make?One is that they don’t get close enough to their subject. “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” as Robert Capa explained.
Apart from a camera, what’s the key piece of kit every photographer should have?A good eye. Think about what it is you want to say visually with your photographs rather than waiting for images to appear before you. From a more practical point of view, sturdy shoes and a selection of lenses.
Any advice for those who might favour digital manipulation or filtering?Don’t overwhelm your images with manipulation or filtering: a heavy-handed use of effects can make your images look contrived and generic. A good photograph does not need to be dressed up.
What’s the secret to a great portrait?Be in control of all the elements – and keep the background simple. Think about the style of the portrait. Lighting is key and should be sympathetic to the mood you want to create. For example, classic black-and-white portraits often make use of (natural) available light coming in through a window.
What makes a great landscape?Again lighting is key: use the natural light as an essential part of your composition. Often the best time to take landscape photographs is in the morning or late in the evening: when the sun is lower in the sky, long gentle shadows are visible and light levels are softer.
Black-and-white or colour?Both. My preference is for colour.
If you could offer just one piece of advice, what would it be?Keep learning, keep looking, upskill by taking a photography course, look at the work of other photographers online, in exhibitions and in books.