Thank you, Madiba Mirna de Hart, South Africa (above).

A superb portrait that instantly draws us to the girl’s eyes; the whites almost glowing. Her cheeky smile and sideways gaze are fun and intriguing. Her props remind us of our own childhood.  A great choice of backdrop: simple, so we are not distracted from the main subject.

Caught in the Rain, James Martin, London (above).

Having left plenty of foreground in the shot, it appears as though the street extends forever, only hampered by the parked cars on either side of the street. The image feels narrow, even claustrophobic. The bright sunlight light hitting the floor brings the hope that the rain will stop.

HOT TIPS: Portrait
I am sure that if you have ever picked up a camera, you have more than likely shot a portrait. Whether that was of a friend or family member or even a travel-related snap, the basic approach remains the same. The key is for your subject to be strong and well lit. What is more important is that it’s evenly lit – if the light is patchy, this will appear on the subject’s face – so incorporate either full sun or full shade. The background of your portrait should be simple and not too busy, as this will distract from the main subject. Blurring the background will draw focus to the subject. Remember, the eyes are the focus and are important to get sharp, to create a focal point and engage with the viewer. You can have the rest of the face a little soft, but it’s good to get that punch.

WIN: A three-day tour of Scotland and a photography course

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First prize is a three-day tour of Scotland for two worth £218 from Haggis Adventures ( Must be taken within three months of receiving prize letter. The runner-up wins a £60 photography course voucher from Nigel Wilson Photography (