The RSPCA has unveiled the shortlist of young photographers in the running to win the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2009.

The judges on the panel for the YPA08 have chosen 33 images from thousands that were entered.

Winners will be chosen in categories for under 12 years old, 12-18 years, Pet Personalities and the Olympus Portfolio, and then one overall winner. They'll then be announced at an awards ceremony at HM Tower of London on 12th December.

Prizes for category winners and runner-ups will be Olympus photographic equipment, while the overall winner will also get the chance to go on an exclusive RSPCA photoshoot.

The panel of ten judges includes Penny Lancaster-Stewart, Really Wild Show presenter Nick Baker, and RSPCA chief photographer Andrew Forsyth.

Also on the panel was Jean Hosking, managing director of the nature picture agency FLPA. She was impressed by how much thought had been invested in the images by the shortlisted photographers.

"It was a very high standard and it sounds a cliché, but all of
them are winners to have made it this far," she said. "There was not much to choose between them when it came down to it.

"There has obviously been a lot of enthusiasm and dedication that has gone into the taking of these photographs. There are plenty of potential professional photographers for the future among the shortlisted entrants."