A local photography friend sent me a link to the International Garden Photographer of the Year, which bills itself as “the world’s premier competition and exhibition specialising in garden, plant, flower and botanical photography,” now in its 10th year. The competition works with Kew Gardens and the winners are displayed there and on tour throughout the U.K.
I’m not much of a photographer myself and no judge at all, but that won’t stop me from having an opinion or two. For one, the overall winner, above left, seems a strange choice – effective but not gardeny. Comments by the judges don’t really help (me) much: “The photo perfectly encapsulates both the extremes of fortune and personality of these giants” and the image “draws the viewer in, to reveal the still surface of the lake behind. It demands closer inspection.” I bet if I were to see a large print of it in person I’d be totally on board.
On the other hand, the winner above in the “Beautiful Gardens” category that, to my eyes is TOO gardeny, with colors that don’t seem real.
My favorites aren’t garden or plant photos at all but “Wildlife in the Garden” images like the two winners above, which make me wonder: How do photographers even DO that?
If I were a student of photography I’d be poring over the winning images in all 18 different categories, and reading every judge comment. As a point-and-shooter and this level of expertise and sophistication is beyond me, but maybe not you. I hope you enjoy them.