Springtime is just around the corner and to help us get in the mood, the winners of the International Garden Photographer of the Year contest have been announced, with the winning images sure to provide nature lovers with plenty of inspiration.
Open to photographers of all ages across the globe, this years’ prestigious competition saw over 19000 entries from 50 different countries. Winning entries will be exhibited in the UK, Germany, Portugal and Holland throughout 2018 and will also feature in a high-end hardback book.
This year’s top honour went to Brazilian photographer Marcio Cabral, who on top of being named International Garden Photographer of the Year also took home a cash prize of £7500. Marcio’s winning entry, entitled Cerrado Sunrise, was shot in Brazil’s ecological area known as the Cerrado.
The winners from the competition will make you want to grab your camera and head outdoors, so let’s check out some of the other winning and commended entries….
Greg Vivash took 3rd Place in the Abstract Views category with his image entitled ‘Floral Dreams’. Greg, from England explained the image; “I blended together multiple images of poppies, daffodils and lavender to create a floral dreamscape with painterly qualities.” Greg used a Canon 6D paired with a 16-35mm lens.
Annemarie Farley from Lancashire, England was also commended in the Abstract View category for this colourful frame of a Tulip. “Each layered image was made slightly bigger than the last, with the final image smudged and softened to accentuate the curves,” explained Annemarie, who captured the close-up using a Sigma 105mm macro lens with her Nikon D800E.
Volker Michael from Germany was commended in the Beautiful Gardens category for his image entitled, ‘Springtime in Hermannshof’. The photo was captured in April, when the Wisteria of Hermannshof are in full bloom and Volker used a Canon 5D with a Canon 24-70mm lens.
Commended in the Breathing Spaces category was UK photographer Mark Bauer, who’s image ‘A Carpet of Colour’ captured the purple heather near Wareham in Dorset. Mark controlled the exposure in the scene using an ND filter to balance the different light levels in the sky and foreground.
Taking first place and top honours in the ‘Greening the City’ category was Annie Green-Armytage, who captured this fusion of greenery and urban development in Hong Kong using her Fuji X-T2. “This green space is on the edge of the Mong Kwok Ping Garden which sits in a compact area between buildings belonging to The University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet, so green space is essential in order to promote health and well-being,” she explained.
Dutch photographer Hans Van Horssen was highly commended in the Portfolio category for his series of images captured during sunrise. “As a garden designer, I take a lot of inspiration from nature and these early morning scenes were magnificent. The themes of peace, stillness and silent beauty run through this portfolio, all brought together by the wordless interactions of horses, birds and an ever-present mist,” he commented.
US photographer Cindy Vondran took third place in the ‘Beauty of Plants’ category for her frame of a Calla Lily, captured with a Canon 6D and 100mm macro lens. “After shooting this Zantedeschia (calla lily) in my garden, I then manipulated the image in Adobe Photoshop using multiple layers and distortion to showcase its beauty and structure.”
Taking second place in the ‘A Bountiful Earth’ category was Shaofeng Zhang from Zhejiang Province in China, who captured his image, entitled ‘A Good Harvest In Sight’ with a Nikon D5 and 24-70mm lens. “The Meiyuan Terrace has an agricultural history stretching back at least 1,000 years. The landscape of rolling hills and golden rice also attracts tourists to the area, yielding another kind of harvest time treasure,” he explained.
Ignacio Heras was commended in the hotly-contested Trees, Woods & Forests category for his shot, entitled ‘Alone’ of Lake Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand, which was captured on a Nikon D610 with a 24-70mm lens. “It was dawn at Lake Wanaka and I felt truly alone. I chose a long exposure to express this emotion and the deep serenity of the scene,” explained Ignacio.
Yi Fan took second place in the Wildflower Landscapes category with this shot, entitled ‘Spirit of the Holy Mountain’ at Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan Province, China. Yi explained the image; “With peak elevation of over 5000m, the heavenly Baima Snow Mountain is regarded as a sacred place by Tibetan Buddhists. The beauty and rarity of this Saussurea laniceps add to a natural sense of reverence for this special place. It is the most effective (and collected) snow lotus species used in both Tibetan and Chinese folk medicine.”
Petar Sabol from Croatia, took second place in the ‘Wildlife in the Garden’ category for his image entitled ‘Fairy Tale’, which was captured with a Sony a99 and 100mm macro lens. “This really was a once in a lifetime photograph. In a forest near my town I came across this unbelievable scene of insect behaviour. I used an old vintage lens to achieve the bokeh, but had to work fast as the light was quickly disappearing and the opportunity would be gone forever.”