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Christmas countdown ImageWe’re now half way through December and just 13 sleeps from the big day itself. The countdown has truly begun and to celebrate in style we’ve started our own Xperia Holiday Calendar.

We’re revealing a range of SmartTips, offers and giveaways every day until 24th December to get you in the festive sprit, whilst also ensuring you’re making the most out of your Sony smartphone or SmartWear device.

But it’s not only Christmas we’re counting down to, as the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards are just round the corner. There’s now just one month left to enter so what better excuse do you need to start capturing beautiful imagery.

These world-renowned awards celebrate the best in this year’s photography and are dedicated to supporting and cultivating photographic culture. From amateur to professional, any skill set and age are welcome to enter. But you better get your entries in quick as the final deadlines are fast approaching.

Entries to the Open and Youth competitions close on 5th January followed by the Professional competition on 8th January.

Since launching in 2007, the annual awards have welcomed over 700,000 entries from more than 230 countries. They offer one professional photographer the opportunity to be awarded with the title of Photographer of the Year at the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony held in London in April.

Need some help with your admission? Well Xperia Photo Academy is here to help. Professional photographers J.N. Silva and Ben Thomas have shared their photography wisdom, introducing us to the possibilities of perspective and contrast techniques through their tutorials, but the fun’s not over yet!

New to Xperia Photo Academy? It’s our go to guide offering the best expertise available through a variety of photographer collaborations. The project proves just what your Xperia Z3 or Xperia Z3 Compact smartphone is capable of and is packed to the brim with insight and tips.

We’re days away from the third instalment where Greg Funnell will share his know how into taking stunning low light photos – perfect for your Christmas party – so be sure to check back on the Xperia Photo Academy page on Monday!

That’s it from us this week, have a great weekend!

*Feature image courtesy of photographer Oana Ulmeanu and the WPO