Budding young snappers need to get their skates on and send in their entries to the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2004. All photographs must be received by Friday 17 September 2004.
Sponsored by Olympus and Truprint, the competition asks keen young photographers to take pictures of animals for a chance to win some fantastic prizes.
Now in their 14th year, the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards have attracted an increasing number of entries of a high standard. Last year, the panel of judges had the difficult task of whittling down 8,000 entries to the final 34 shortlisted photographs.
This year there are two new awards - the Olympus portfolio prize and the Truprint school prize.
The Olympus portfolio prize will go to an individual whose five photographs show consistent quality. The winner's prize will include an Olympus digital camera and the chance to spend a day on a photoshoot for the RSPCA with photographer and competition judge Andrew Forsyth.
The Truprint school prize asks teachers and pupils to send in a selection of pictures (a minimum of eight and a maximum of 15) all taken by different children. The winning school or college will receive £500, a trophy and a set of framed photos to keep.
TV presenter, wildlife photographer and RSPCA Young Photographer Awards judge Chris Packham said: "We are extremely excited about the new categories. Last year we were impressed by a number of people whose work was of such a high standard that any of their photos could have been shortlisted for a prize. It was difficult to choose. The Portfolio category will give serious young photographers a chance to think carefully about their work. We are looking forward to judging them!"
Entries to the main competition are still divided into two different age groups -under 12s and 12 to 18 years. Entrants to the two new awards are also able to enter the age categories.
The overall winner will receive an Olympus digital camera and a £250 cash prize from Truprint. Winners of the age categories will receive an Olympus digital camera and £100 from Truprint. In addition, eight runners up will each win an Olympus digital camera and £50 from Truprint.
For more information you can log on to the RSPCA's Young Photographer Awards website at www.rspca.org.uk/ypa. Not only are there details of this year's competition, but you can view shortlisted entries from 2003. Chris Packham also gives hints and tips on how to take a good photograph.