The BBC has launched its BBC News Photographer of the Year 2006 competition and is ready to accept entries.

The winner this year will receive the title and a chance to shoot a photo-essay of his or her choice to be posted on the Beeb website.

A separate prize will go to the BBC News website team's favourite.

Phil Coomes, BBC News Website Picture Editor, said, "Our readers love to look at pictures and this is a chance to see their own work featured on the BBC News website".

"Last year we had over 12,000 entries, many of which were really strong and made the selection of 12 pictures for each round really tough."

Six categories are available on a rolling basis. The closing date for the first category, "Shelter", is 2 August. Each week will feature another category.

The 12 best images will be posted for BBC website readers to choose their favourites.

For details on how to enter via email, visit