Portraits, travel and dreams: this week's entries for the Amateur Photography award

As we approach the half-way stage of our Amateur Photographer Awards here is the fourth of our weekly galleries

As we approach the half-way stage of our Amateur Photographer Awards here is the fourth of our weekly galleries. There has been a steady stream of terrific images arriving daily for our competition which has two major prizes of €1,000 each for the best photograph and best photographer respectively.

Please do enter your images as soon as you are happy with your selection – don’t wait till the last minute when deadlines and computer traffic might be an issue. At this point we are very happy that the standard is very high, we have seen a huge range of photographs of many styles, and some very interesting images.

It might be worth a note here clarifying our approach to image manipulation based on an answer we gave to query from Ingrid. The question was – “I see in the rules for the competition that you request minimal, if any, editing, and allow for some cropping. I just wanted to check does this apply to the use of the auto function in Lightroom Develop, and also adjustment of highlights, for example??”

The answer we gave might be of general interest to competitors: “It's not so much that editing should be minimal it's that any digital processing in most categories should be appropriate and used to enhance the quality of the image and not to distort it. So if auto is used in Photoshop/Lightroom you need to judge for yourself if the result is good or if it’s completely over the top.


"From my own experience I think the auto settings can be useful and work well with certain images but can blow out others and lose highlight, shadow and colour detail. Any use of Lightroom in Raw for instance to enhance and preserve highlight and shadow detail is to be encouraged not prohibited as it's a way of optimising the detail in the original scene and is not a distortion.

"Cloning in details, for instance a sky, from another image is obviously a no-no however in most categories. We are not trying to lock photographers into straitjackets with these rules we're trying to make it clear that it's a photography contest and not a Photoshop contest. There are no hold barred in the Open category and there is scope for playing with colour in the colour category" - Frank Miller, chairman of the judging panel

It’s also worth a reminder of our panel of tips for entering the awards -

•             Take time to prepare and think about your entry, read the rules, and enter your images in the correct category.

•             Trust your judgment. Enter pictures you are passionate about, not ones you think might catch the judges’ attention.

•             Avoid visual clichés. The Judges will have seen it all before, so if you revisit a well-worn theme make sure you bring something new to it.

•             If you use Photoshop or Lightroom, use it as a digital darkroom to enhance your image quality without distorting the subject.

•             Read the rules and be aware that overuse of digital manipulation could disqualify you.

•             Do not enter images with watermarks: your copyright will be respected and usage of your images will be in accordance with the rules of the awards.

•             Give your image a title and add any other relevant details.

•             Upload images in the highest resolution allowed.