Time to get snapping

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THE RSPCA is calling on budding young snappers to get their cameras out and take photographs of animals.

Wildlife presenter Chris Packham will be among the judges of the RSPCA competition.

The Young Photographer Awards 2012 welcomes all kinds of pictures from cheeky portraits of family pets to imaginative photos of wildlife and even close-ups of insects in a mix of categories open to young people under 18.

The competition is sponsored by Warners Midlands, supported by Olympus and Natures Images and will be judged by a mix of photography professionals including Chris Packham.

Last year saw an impressive 8,000 entries and included photographs of pouting pet goldfish, wild Canadian bears and, the overall winner, a rare red squirrel peeking out of the woodland dusk.

Andrew Forsyth, chief photographer for the RSPCA, said: “We were blown away by the images entered last year - the standard was just amazing considering the age of some of the photographers.

“It doesn’t matter if the images are of birds, bees or budgies. This is a real opportunity to bring together a passion for photography with a love of animals and an interpretation of our relationship with them. It can be incredible to see the results.”

The overall winner will go on a three-day photography break with top wildlife photographer Danny Green, courtesy of Natures Images. Top quality Olympus camera kits are also up for grabs for the winners and runners up in each category

Young photographers can enter in their age category, the Portfolio award, the Pet Personalities category and Making Life Better category – a new introduction last year which asks for images that illustrate what animals do to make people’s lives better.

The deadline for entries is September 10. Winners will be announced at a special ceremony in December.

Photography tips, updated YPA12 news, galleries of previous winners’ work and full details about how to enter are available at www.rspca.org.uk/ypa.