APOY 2016 logo

It’s our final round of APOY. Here we look at the top 30 APOY 2016 Round 8: Black & White images

It’s been another great year for the Amateur Photographer of the Year competition, sponsored by Sigma. We’re proud to say that the quality of entries has got stronger with each passing year, almost to the point that placing some of our entries side by side with the work of professionals has caused us something of a double-take. And nowhere is this more apparent than in our black & white round, which perhaps stands as our most popular.

Black & white photography is as popular as ever. The depth of expression that monochrome allows is unparalleled, as demonstrated over the following pages. But as always there is only one winner, and in this final round it is Adele Spencer from Dublin, Ireland.

APOY 2016

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Art lens, an 82mm WR Circular Polarising filter and Sigma USB dock

Adele takes home a Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art lens worth £849.99. The 24-105mm offers ‘exceptionally stable high resolution from wideangle to mid-telephoto photography,’ says Sigma. While featuring a large-aperture 82mm filter size, this lens minimises optical aberrations and avoids reduced peripheral brightness – an issue that tends to affects lenses with similar specifications. Each lens is checked with Sigma’s proprietary A1 MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system to ensure it offers exceptional quality for the high-megapixel era.

Adele also receives a Sigma 82mm WR Circular Polarising filter (£114.99), which will not only protect the lens glass but also assist in removing the reflections on water surface and glass windows, and will also boost the contrast in landscape photography.

Finally, Adele receives a Sigma USB Dock, worth £39.99. By attaching the lens to the USB Dock while it’s plugged in to your computer, you can use the dedicated Sigma Optimization Pro software and update the lens firmware and adjust parameters such as focus.

With all three prizes combined, Adele bags a total prize value of £1,004.97 for round 8 of APOY.

1st Adele Spencer, Ireland 50pts

APOY 2016 Round 8: Black & White

1st Adele Spencer, Ireland 50pts

Canon EOS 6D, 24-105mm, 30secs at f/13, ISO 100, Lee Little Stopper.

Adele Spencer’s image is our winner of round 8 and it’s a real beauty. We see many shots like this, but more often than not they lack a human element. ‘This image was taken at sunset in Sandycove, Co Dublin, at a very popular swimming place,’ says Adele. ‘I first took a long exposure of the scene, then, when this young guy turned up for a swim, I took one fast exposure before he entered the water. Images were subsequently combined in Photoshop using masks and converted to black & white.’

2nd Maria Vaz, Brazil 49pts

APOY 2016 Round 8: Black & white

2nd Maria Vaz, Brazil 49pts

Canon EOS 7D, 28mm, 1/100sec at f/3.5, ISO 200.

Our black & white round often brings out the poetic in people and here we see a lovely and unusual shot from Maria Vaz from Brazil. The image has been shot from an overhead position, giving us an unusual bird’s-eye view of what appears to be two boys sleeping with their heads on the table. It’s a shot that inspires many questions, such as who are these boys and why are we finding them in this position? It’s an image that forces you to make up your own story and enjoy the mystery.

3rd Olga Kukush, Ukraine 48pts

APOY 2016 round 8: Black & White

3rd Olga Kukush, Ukraine 48pts

Nikon D3100, 50mm, 1/100sec at f/10, ISO 100.

In third place we have Olga Kukush with her brilliant and funny look at pregnancy. The goldfish bowl is a great reflection of the expectant mother’s bump. It’s also nice to have the goldfish looking out to the left matching the woman’s direction. The globe shape can also be noted in the clever spotlighting. As far as portraits go, this was certainly unique in this round and, as such, we couldn’t help but award it third place.

The Amateur Photographer of the Year 2016 is Penny Halsall from Faringdon in Oxfordshire. Penny takes home a Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens (£799.99), a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens (£849.99) and a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro lens (£649.99) as her prize.

Here are the top 50 entries for  APOY 2016 Round 8: Black & White

1st Adele Spencer 50pts
2nd Maria Vaz 49pts
3rd Olga Kukush 48pts
4th Adrian Sadlier 47pts
5th Igor Kryzhko 46pts
6th Fearghal Breathnach 45pts
7th Roy Fochtman 44pts
8th Liak Song Teo 43pts
9th Martin Smolak 42pts
10th Pessoa Neto 41pts
11th Alicia Bowser 40pts
12th John Baker 39pts
13th Michael Diblicek 38pts
14th Luke Moseley 37pts
15th Dylan Nardini 36pts
16th Jorge Pimenta 35pts
17th Sandi Bertoncelj 34pts
18th Mark Cornick 33pts
19th Steve Minshull 32pts
20th Stu Meech 31pts
21st Tony Sellen 30pts
22nd Nitin Jain 29pts
23rd Stephen Flounders 28pts
24th Aaron Bennett 27pts
25th Faramarz Zareian 26pts
26th Pawel Pentlinowski 25pts
27th Richard Malison 24pts
28th Richard Eyers 23pts
29th Juvenal Bisneto 22pts
30th Manos Iatrou 21pts
31st Chris Dale 20pts
32nd Chris Robbins 19pts
33rd Christopher Howes 18pts
34th Gavin Duncan 17pts
35th Janek Lass 16pts
36th George Digalakis 15pts
37th Popkov Vitalii 14pts
38th Shostak Anatoly 13pts
39th Tony Cooper 12pts
40th Vasantha Jayasooriya 11pts
41st Dani Colston 10pts
42nd Dave Whenham 9pts
43rd Michal Gurnik 8pts
44th Nataliya Andrianova 7pts
45th Neil Burnell 6pts
46th Olga Nechyporenko 5pts
47th Ray Toh 4pts
48th Arshad Nasser 3pts
49th David Travis 2pts
50th Joao Rico 1pt

The 2016 leaderboard

The Amateur Photographer of the Year 2016 is Penny Halsall from Faringdon in Oxfordshire. Penny takes home a Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens (£799.99), a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens (£849.99) and a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro lens (£649.99) as her prize.

Position Name Points
    1  Penny Halsall   206pts
    2  Fearghal Breathnach   183pts
    3  Bertrand Chombart   171pts
    4  George Diagalakis   145pts
    5  Adrian Mills   140pts
    6  Dominc Beaven   132pts
    7  Liak song Teo   129pts
    8  Tomer Eliash   127pts
    9  Adam Stephenson   125pts
  10  Sigita Playdon   124pts

See the results for other rounds

1. Sense of Doubt – Abstract Images
2. Width of a Circle -Creative Wideangles
3. Soul Love – Portraiture
4. Scary Monster – Wildlife at Home and Abroad
5. Little Wonder – Macro (insects/flowers/plants)
6. A Small Plot of Land – Landscapes and Cityscapes
7. Big Brother – Street Photography
8. Blackout – Black & White