To coincide with the launch of its new professional photographic inkjet paper, Harman Technology has announced a photography competition open to residents of the United Kingdom.

The competition is unrestrictive, and entrants can photograph any theme and any subject matter they wish, in color or black and white. Although Harman, a Mobberley, England-based company, has sponsored many competitions involving its Ilford Photo traditional monochrome photographic products, for which the company is most well-known, this is the first time the company has developed a competition solely for digital photographs.

First prize in the competition is an exclusive, two-day personal workshop with renowned fine-art photographer Les McLean, who has written for numerous photography magazines and had his first book, Creative Black and White Photography, published in 2002.

McLean began his obsession with photography in 1976, when he traded in his guitar for a camera. He had been playing since the ’50s, when he worked in a coal mine during the day and played with his band at night. After leaving the mine and traveling around the UK with his band for several years, McLean returned to school and soon began a job as an accountant, still playing music on the side. But, in 1976, he discovered photography and quickly became obsessed. He toiled away with his accountant job for years afterward, though, and finally gave up the job to take on photography and writing full-time in the early 1990s, after the publisher of Pro Photo, a UK photography magazine approached him to write a monthly column, making him realize that he might be able to make a career out of photography. McLean has solely focused on the art side of photography since then, eschewing the corporate aspects of the business.

In addition to the one-on-one comprehensive course with McLean, the winner of the Harman competition will receive 150 British pounds ($295 USD); the second-place finisher will receive 100 pounds ($197 USD) and the third-place finisher will receive 50 pounds ($98 USD).

The deadline submitting photos is August 31, 2007; winners will be announced September 28. Full details can be found at the Harman Photo Web site.