If you’re still holding back from participating in photo competitions due to reasons such as the lack of technical skills or equipment – don’t.  If you haven’t heard, registrations for Canon PhotoMarathon XVI Singapore 2018 (CPMSG2018) is now open! This is an annual event that celebrates growth and creativity! We spoke to some of our past winners to exemplify these points. They also share some practical tips and their personal photography philosophies in this article.

Research on techniques and experiment

Yasmin Selamat (3rd prize – Student Category) 2017

Yasmin’s eerie double-exposure earned her a place as a winner for the theme “Mysterious,” but it came with research and some experimentation.

She said: “From the first time I went for the competition in 2015 to the 3rd time in 2017, I noticed a distinct pattern. There will at least be one photo with the double exposure effect that wins. Because of that, I learned how to recreate it using my Canon EOS 6D!”

Canon EOS 6D | f/4 | 1/125s | ISO 500

Looking back at her winning shot, she shares, “When I first took the photo and saw the outcome, it gave me eerie vibes. It looked like the ghost from the ‘Ring’ film.”

She credits her friend Grace for giving her the concept. It took 20 shots before the final one came through. “What I think stands out is how the photo makes you feel upon looking at it. I think that’s most important in photography,” she said.

Yasmin also added that what makes the competition enjoyable is the company. “I go for the competition with different people every year and so I explore different places too. Every individual has a different personality and this makes the experience more entertaining!”

Be your best cheerleader

Mark Anthony Lim (Best of Show – Open Category) 2016

“Being passionate about my work has made my work stand out. If others are giving their 100%, I will push myself over that to create an image others will not think about.”

Unfazed by professional competitors and cameras, Mark gave his A-game for the theme of “Vision.” His winning shot was an improvised macro shot of eyes mirroring the iconic Singapore flyer.

Canon EOS 70D | 1/125s | ISO 8000

He said: “Be yourself and show the world what you’ve got. Remember that if I can do it, you can do it too. Trust me. You’ll make it all the way to the top one way or another!”

These days, Mark has taken his win of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV to explore his new-found love for travel photography.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | f/11 | 1/160s | ISO 100

“I have this personal travel photography blog of mine, ‘iTravel by maplRN,’ where I would upload photos of places I have visited in the Philippines. After working in Singapore, I became more eager to travel so I can share my images through my travel blog.”

Pack right for the competition

Dex Ngiam (1st Prize – Student Category) 2017

It’s hard to imagine, but the person behind the riveting entry for the theme “Tilt” simply keeps things practical.

“My advice for this year’s participants is to have proper time-management, to stay hydrated, and to fill your stomach so you’ll have energy for the remaining themes.” It may not seem like much but an experienced photographer will understand how one can easily overlook more mundane aspects such as these.

Canon EOS 750D | f/5.6 | 1/4000s | ISO 6400

Looking forward to joining again this year, Dex mentioned that his favourite part of the competition is the chance to meet experienced photographers for positive exchanges.

He sagely adds, “Do not overpack.”

Go the distance

Tracy Luong (Best of Show – Student Category) 2017

Tracy’s win has slowly moved her towards her goal in making a living from photography and it’s happening with a new small business she began with a friend.

Canon EOS 60D | f/4.5 | 1/2500s | ISO 100

Tracy decided to go the distance to capture the shots she wanted. “When I received my second and third theme, I decided to go somewhere less crowded to take pictures that fitted the theme.” This resulted in a series of black and white photos that showcased the theme of “Tilt”, “Celebration” and “Mysterious.” From her shots, it is evident that picking suitable locations is key to creating strong images.

Canon EOS 60D | f/2 | 1/200s | ISO 250

“Don’t be afraid to travel somewhere far if you are not feeling anything with the place you are at. I personally think this will help you achieve unique and impressive photos,” she adds.

Canon EOS 60D | f/2 | 1/250s | ISO 400

On what she enjoyed best about the competition, she shared, “I enjoyed challenging myself in the short time given with the one lens and one camera I brought. The limitations and themes were so much fun.”

Remember to stay on course

Chris Ong (2nd Prize – Open Category) 2017

With Chris’s new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, he continues to pursue his passion in photography and even creates new shots based on his winning theme of “Mysterious”!

“The most precious thing I took away from the competition was perseverance,” he revealed. “One needs to be persistent and committed to going through the whole process and the themes to see the fruits of their labour – which in my case, it did!”

He recalled how an event staff commented that the model in his shot, who also happened to be his girlfriend, looked like a ghost. He jokingly said that might have made it a winner.

Canon EOS 6D | f/22 | 30s | ISO 100

As seen, this event is a great chance for you to challenge yourself and to meet fellow photographers. Who knows, you might even win prizes such as a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV or a trip to Japan to represent Singapore in the Canon Photomarathon Asia Championship!

Get your particulars down and your cameras ready. It’s time to see the world in delightful ways.  Canon PhotoMarathon XVI Singapore 2018 (CPMSG2018) is now open for registration so click here to sign up now!