By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Canon is out to find Australia and New Zealand’s best amateur photographers with the Eos Photo5 competition which was launched today.

Speaking about the competition, now in its fifth year, was brand manager of Eos at Canon Australia Chris Macleod.

“Eos Photo5 pushes the boundaries of photographic expression, by challenging photographers of all levels to explore their creativity and take their skills to a whole new level,” Macleod said. “We’re always stunned by the incredibly creative imagery that people from all walks of life produce based on their unique perspectives on the themed briefs contained in the iconic ‘box’.

“We’ve got five new briefs and we can’t wait to see what creativity this encourages in people. With the right gear, tips and inspiration, everyone has a shot at discovering their untapped creative potential!”

The competition requires photographers to shoot for five challenges and “reach new levels of creativity with their Digital SLR photography,” with images to be judged by a panel of experts including Chris Tovo, Mark Horsburgh, Peter Eastway and Nick Rains.

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Unlike previous years, new entrants to the competition will be required to submit an image in order to qualify. Those who entered the competition in 2010 will be eligible to request on of the limited edition ‘boxes’ that contains the briefs for the competition.

With over 8,000 entrants from Australia and New Zealand in the 2010 competition (an increase of 45.5 per cent since the competition began) there will be quite a few budding photographers hoping to get their hands on one of those boxes.

“The five briefs contained in the EOS Photo5 box are made up of everyday objects and include instructions to incorporate specific creative photography techniques into a shot. The 2011 EOS Photo5 box is set to test even veteran entrants when it arrives on their doorstop. The briefs remain a secret until their release on 19 September 2011.”

Last year, the objects in the mystery box included incense, confetti and bubblegum. Similar to the 2010 competition, would-be entrants who miss out on one of the coveted boxes will have the opportunity to enter an “Open Brief” category.

Winners will be decided by voting on Canon’s World of Eos website from 9 November 2011. Winners in each brief category will win a Canon EOS 5D Mark II Premium Kit (camera body and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens) as well as a three-day photography workshop in Queenstown, New Zealand.

There will also be a Portfolio Competition across all five categories, rewarding the best overall photographer with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II Premium Kit, a Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 Mark II professional photo printer and the new Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye lens, as well as the creative photography workshop.

And those who vote online can also win, with a Canon EOS 7D Super Kit (camera body plus EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens) up for grabs.

Applicants can sign up for free entry online. Competition winners will be announced online on 30 November 2011.