Jan. 1 marks the beginning of a new calendar year, but for many of us, the start of the new year represents something deeper than just the passing of time: it can represent a clean slate and the chance to start fresh. It's why so many people declare life-changing goals around this time -- New Year's resolutions.
For January's photo contest, we want to celebrate the spirit of starting anew and see images that capture your interpretation of "beginnings." Perhaps you've just moved into a new home and plan to fill it with a lifetime of memories. Or maybe you're beginning an adventure in a foreign place that you always promised yourself you'd visit. We encourage you to get creative and to tell us the story behind your photos.
The contest opens Dec. 31. Send your photos by Jan. 21. We'll feature the five best submissions Jan. 24 and give you a chance to vote for your favourite until Jan. 31. The winner will be announced Feb. 4, so be sure to check back.
The winner will receive a DVD copy of Africa on the Move, a documentary series that captures the vibrancy of Africa's diverse people and rich cultures, courtesy of the CBC Shop. Click here for more information.
Upload your images here or to our CBC Your Voice Flickr Pool, tagged with the words "January photo contest," or email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org with "January photo contest" in the subject line.
Before you get snapping, CBC News photo editor extraordinaire Timothy Neesam has these helpful hints on getting a great shot. Tim, who has worked as a producer and/or director on a wide range of arts and entertainment projects for CBC Radio, CBC Radio 3 and CBC.ca, shares these insightful tips:
1. Understand the Rule of Thirds
Painters have been using the Rule of Thirds for centuries, and it works just as well for photographers. Your images will appear balanced and dynamic if you place your subject at least one-third the distance from one of the edges of your frame.
A friend of mine took a picture of her bike, but included in the shot were 10 other bikes behind hers. If she had moved to the left, she would have excluded the other bikes, and hers would have appeared outstanding. Focus isn't just about sharp or fuzzy pictures. Decide what it is you're really taking a photo of, and you'll make sure the person looking at your picture will too.
3. Think with your feet
Look at what's in the frame and ask yourself, if I move to the left or right, will my picture improve? How about moving back or forth? What happens if I shoot the same scene from above or below the subject? Take full advantage of the amount of space you have to work with. Filling the frame helps your audience appreciate your image.
4. Remember, it's all about the light
Photographers are always talking about light, whether it's the golden hour around sunrise and sunset, the light that provides depth by creating shadows, or that annoying light that makes people in your shot squint badly. Think about where your light is coming from and use it to your advantage. Putting light to the left or right of your subject, for example, can do wonders for your picture.
5. Be in the moment
Whether you're shooting landscapes, sports or someone you've met, photography allows you to capture the spirit of a moment that's important to you. Take your time when you're making your photograph. Decide what it is you're really shooting, and compose your image carefully.
Make it a moment that lasts.
CBC PHOTO CONTEST RULES
Photos accepted from 12/31/2010 at 12 p.m. ET to 01/21/2011 at 4 p.m. ET. Voting open from 01/24/2011 at 4 p.m. to 01/31/2011 at 12 p.m. ET.
To enter this CBC photo contest, you must submit your photos to email@example.com, the CBC Your Voice website, www.cbc.ca/news/yourvoice/photogalleries/ or the CBC Your Voice Flickr pool, http://www.flickr.com/groups/1005111@N25/.
To be valid, all entries must include a description, your first name, last name, age, and phone number - to be received by 4 p.m. ET on 01/21/2011. Photos can only be submitted online.
No purchase required.
This contest is open to all Canadian residents. Employees of the CBC and their immediate family or persons living under the same roof are not eligible to enter this contest.
By submitting your photos, you agree to grant to the CBC, free of charge, nonexclusive permission to use your photo in connection with CBC services, in any media throughout the world, in any way the CBC wants.
Copyright in your photo will remain with you. You can continue to use the photo in any way you want, including allowing others to use it.
In order that the CBC can use your photo, you confirm that (a) your photo is your own original work; (b) you own all the rights in the photo, including copyright; (c) you have the right to give the CBC permission to use your photo for the purposes specified in these rules; (d) the photo is not defamatory and does not infringe any Canadian laws or violate the rights of any third party; (e) you have the consent of anyone who is identifiable in your photo or the consent of their parent / guardian if they are minors; (f) you waive any moral rights that you may have in the photo; (g) you indemnify CBC against any claim, demand, action, suit, or other proceedings against CBC arising out of the use of the photo or any false or inaccurate statements.
If you do not want to grant the CBC the permission set out in these rules, please do not submit your photo.
PROCEDURE FOR AWARDING PRIZES
On 01/24/2011, the CBC Your Voice team will pick five photos from all entries received. The CBC News Your Voice team will make its selections considering the following criteria:
1) Photos must clearly exhibit the applicable theme (i.e. Road trips, Fall harvest, ECT)
2) The meaning of the photo is reasonably apparent to the audience (i.e. it portrays a clear subject with effect/emotion).
3) Technical quality (i.e. clear and clean composition).
The selected five photos will be published on www.cbc.ca/yourvoice. CBC.ca users will vote for their favorite photo. The photo with the most votes will be selected as the winner. The selected winner will be contacted by telephone or email during the week following the vote and should claim his/her prize as instructed by CBC by no later than 3 days following CBC's attempt at contacting the selected winner. If the prize is not claimed within this period, a new winner will be selected. Once a winner is finally selected and confirmed, it will be announced on the cbc.ca/yourvoice website.
DESCRIPTION OF PRIZE
The prize, including the value, will be indicated on the cbc.ca/yourvoice website.
The prize shall be accepted as is and may not be exchanged for an amount of money, nor sold nor transferred. No substitutions will be allowed.
If the prize cannot be awarded as described, CBC and its affiliates reserve the right to substitute a prize or prize component with another of comparable value.
Refusal to accept the prize releases the CBC and its affiliates, as well as their respective directors, officers and employees, of all obligations.
If you are selected as a winner, you shall first correctly answer a mathematical skill-testing question before being declared a winner.
If you are selected as a winner, you, or your parents or guardians if you are a minor, agree to have your name and/or picture, including your photograph, and/or voice used for advertising purposes related to this contest, free of charge.
If you are selected as a winner, you, or your parents or guardians if you are a minor, agree that upon accepting the prize you confirm your eligibility of these rules and release the CBC and its affiliates, as well as their respective directors, officers and employees, from all liability for any damage or loss arising from participation in this contest or from the awarding, acceptance or use of the prize.
Should you make any false statement, you shall be automatically disqualified from the contest.
CBC and its affiliates, as well as their respective directors, officers and employees, shall assume no liability resulting from losses, delays, mistaken addresses on mail or e-mail received, typographical errors, technical, computer or telephone malfunctions, loss or theft of computer or telephone data, damage to software or computer equipment, fraudulent calls or any other mistake.
CBC and its affiliates, as well as their respective directors, officers and employees, shall assume no liability of any kind, whatsoever, in any cases in which their inability to act results from an event or situation beyond their control, including more particularly a strike, lockout or any other labour dispute in their place of business or the places of business of the organizations or businesses whose services are used to hold this contest.
All personal information, such as your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and age is collected solely for the purposes of administering this contest and shall not be used for any other purpose without your consent. By providing this information, you consent to it being used for the stated purposes.
By entering, contestants agree to abide by the contest rules which shall be applied by the CBC. All CBC's decisions are final.
Contest rules are available at cbc.ca/yourvoice
Meet the Community Team
CBC News Community team, from left to right: Andrew Yates, Andrea Lee-Greenberg, Lauren O'Neil, John Bowman
If you're part of the CBC News community, you're likely to meet one of us: we're the folks working to produce and promote your stories. Read more about us.
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