American Photography Open 2021: March Highlights From Our Judges

By David Schonauer   Tuesday April 13, 2021

The AP Open competition has come roaring back.

In March, we announced the launch of American Photography Open 2021, the fourth edition of our photo contest open to images made by photographers at any level using any kind of equipment, from DSLRs and mirrorless cameras to smartphones. The first month of the competition saw entries coming in from around the world, and today we’re featuring several images that caught the attention of our judges — including a Norwegian landscape, a close-up of a northern pygmy owl, and a portrait of a dog in a field of lavender.

Now it’s time for you to send in your entries. This year there are even more ways to win. Along with the AP Open 2021 competition, you can enter our partner SanDisk’s” Share Your World” competition. You can also enter our partner Tamron’s new  “World Through Your Lens” Landscape /Travel competition. To enter these new competitions, select the “Share Your World” or the “World Through Your Lens” categories and follow the instructions there. You can enter all three competitions as many times as you wish.

As for the prizes: The Open Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000, his/her choice of a Tamron SP 15-30mm F2.8 Di VC USD (for Canon or Nikon DSLR and mirrorless with mfg. adapter; $1,299 value) -or- both Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD and Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD (for Sony e-mount; $1,628 total value), a SanDisk 1 TB Extreme Pro Portable SSD, a PhotoShelter 2 year Pro account and a 2 hour business consultation with The Photo Closer.

Go here for more information on the prizes, judges, and information on how to enter. Meanwhile, check out the highlighted entries from March:

Richard Lingo: “Alesund Waterway”

When Richard Lingo traveled to the Norwegian town of Alesund last December, he captured a near-perfect moment with, he says, relative ease. “How can you not like the low sun angle during the Norwegian winter?” he notes. Lingo was visiting his daughter and son-in-law, who is Norwegian, when he and his wife drove to Alesund, a port on Norway’s west coast. He shot this image with an iPhone 11 Pro. Lingo describes himself a “moderately advanced amateur” — his first serious foray into photography was in 2013, when he took a photo class “in hopes that I would become interested to help pass time while in retirement.” He calls his photo of Alesund “basically a vacation photo,” but it certainly impressed the AP Open 2021 judges.

Pam Mullins: “Tiny Hunter”

Sechelt, British Columbia-based photographer Pam Mullins calls herself “just a girl with a camera who loves to capture the moment,” especially moments in the “wild outdoors.” She tells PPD that she considers herself a serious amateur photographer — “I don't think I make enough money to be called a professional,” she notes — who began taking pictures as a kid. “There was always a camera in the house from the time I was a kid, so I  got the photography bug from a young age,” she says. Last November she went out hoping to photograph a northern pygmy owl, a bird that, while only standing about 6 inches in height, is a ferocious hunter. “The sun had just gone down, and I was dealing with low light and slow shutter speed,” recalls Mullins, who shot with a Canon 1DX Mark lll and Canon 600mm with 2x extender.

See Pam Mullins’s website.

Audrey Bellot: “Purple Waves”

“Animals and especially dogs have always fascinated me; spending time with them rests your soul, brings you wisdom and serenity,” notes Audrey Bellot, a professional photographer based in Auvergne, France, who specializes in dog portraiture. “I grew up with dogs around me since I was a child,” she tells PPD. “I lived with many kinds of animals, but dogs were special to me. I always felt so close to them, there was always this strong and deep connection with them.” The photo here was taken during one of Bellot’s Special Dog Portrait Workshops in Valensole, France, during the lavender blossom in early July. “We had a beautiful sunset that enhanced the coat of Ohana, our Golden Retriever model,” notes Bellot, who shot with a Nikon D780 and Nikon 105mm f/1.4 lens. One of the challenges in getting the shot, she says, was the heat: “Our model dogs tended to pant a bit; fortunately with a little water everything was fine,” she says.

See Audrey Bellot’s website.


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