The Greenfingers Charity Garden

The Greenfingers Charity Garden

Capturing the Fundamentals

Photography by IGPOTY

The Greenfingers Charity Garden

The world’s most iconic flower show has come and gone for another year and it has not disappointed, but not just because of masterly designs and countless beautiful plants, but because some gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show had managed to achieve a sense of being self-aware.

What do we mean by this? There are two strands. The first is whereby an environment, its colours, planting, flow and natural feel, work together to produce emotions that we readily connect with; we can feel what the garden is trying to say.

The harder and more subtle element of this is how gardens are conjoined to our modern contexts and conversations. That is, what we find important at this present time and what we should continue to find important. Marrying these two together can create a lasting positive experience that provides a truly memorable garden identity. 

Nowhere has this self-awareness been more evident than in the Greenfingers Charity Garden designed by Kate Gould. Our team are really proud to have been supporting the charity through photographic services during the show, helping them tell the story of the charity and the challenge of creating green spaces for life-limited children.

The art of combining the designed environment with current context was achieved through the use of accessibility - making sure that everyone could access all places of a deliberately designed two-storey garden. It was also achieved by using the theme of family and encouraging us to see the garden as somewhere that memories are made.

In this way then, the garden is an emphatic example of a garden that is truly self-aware – helping us reconnect with the essentials that gardens provide to children and families across the world. So as shows come and go, messages must be strong enough to endure. And what is a stronger message than the fundamentals of social life: family, memories and liberty.

If photography can capture just a small portion of this, then it is always an endeavour worthy of our time.

It was a joy to capture the garden for Greenfingers. Please do visit their website and explore their work.

Beautiful Blenheim

Beautiful Blenheim

See the winners now

Beautiful Blenheim

Black & White Photo Project

Black & White Photo Project

See the winners now

Noortje Russel

Black & White Photo Project

Preparing for the Macro Art Photo Project

Preparing for the Macro Art Photo Project

Photography by Elizabeth Kazda

Preparing for the Macro Art Photo Project

The International Garden Photographer of the Year Macro Art Photo Project has just launched for entries as the second photo project for Competition 13.

This photo project seeks to celebrate the world of plants and gardens through close-up perspectives and artistic methods of capturing nature’s botanical beauty.

If you’re thinking of entering, a great starting point is to check out the winners from last year. There are so many subjects and styles to choose from, so some previous winners might be able to give you the inspiration you need to harness all of that creative energy you have waiting behind the lens. From resting mayflies to frozen peat moss, the scope for interpretation is huge. 

Speaking of mayflies, if you haven’t read our interview with last year’s winner, Petar Sabol, then definitely check it out. There are interesting insights and the passion behind the answers is infectious.

If you’re still looking for another reason to enter, then don’t forget our winners are some of the most widely covered in print and digital media outlets. Macro images have a particular charm about them and usually appeal to a very wide audience. Because of this, last year’s winners had some tremendous coverage, such as the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph.

We’ve also been hard at work with returning feedback, so here’s some common things to watch out for with your winning macro shot!

  • If you’re capturing the close-up details of a flower, make sure that the specimen is pristine! Damage, as well as patches of dirt can be distracting when shooting at this distance.

  • Remove any unwanted and distracting elements such as twigs, branches or other flowerheads. These can draw attention away from what is meant to be the main subject matter. 

  • Find a background that is as engaging as the subject itself and which complements its features.

  • Ensure that the composition has a natural resting point for the eye. Too many elements can leave an image with a confusing identity.

  • If you’re adding an effect in post-capture make sure it elevates and not overwhelms the subject matter.

  • Find the subject then take a while to think about your intention and what you want to capture and why. This will help communicate a sense of style and purpose.

  • The slightest change of position can sometimes make all the difference - once you’ve found the subject and scene, keep shooting from a variety of different angles until you’re confident you’ve got the best from the opportunity.

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Good luck and thank you for helping us share the beauty and importance of a green planet. Enter the Macro Art Photo Project.

Macro Art Photo Project

Macro Art Photo Project

Now open for entries

© Petar Sabol

Macro Art Photo Project

Claim your free pro lab prints before April 6!

Claim your free pro lab prints before April 6!

Print to Prove It, in partnership with One Vision Imaging and FUJIFILM

Claim your free pro lab prints before April 6!

The team at IGPOTY have joined forces with FUJIFILM and the UK’s finest professional photographic laboratory One Vision Imaging to offer you (3) FREE 10 x 8 or 12 x 8” prints in their print to prove it campaign. You simply pay the postage.

Every IGPOTY member can each claim three free 10 x 8” or 12 x8” prints on either Lustre or Gloss with the print to prove it campaign. Your images will be printed on FUJI’s DP11 Professional paper for FREE; you simply pay for the posting and packing. To claim your free prints and discover the unprecedented quality for yourself, simply upload your images to the website, follow the online instructions and when prompted enter the voucher code PPIGPOTY19 when prompted. Then it's simply a case of waiting for your prints to drop through your letterbox. Get ready to marvel at the cost-effective quality.

This offer is available until April 6 2019 and only one order of three prints may be made per household. For full terms and conditions and to order, please visit www.onevisionimaging.com

Why settle for second best, when high-quality printing might just be more affordable than you think!

 

Black & White Photo Project

Black & White Photo Project

Has now closed - thanks to all those who entered!

© Polina Plotnikova

Black & White Photo Project

Competition 12

Competition 12

See the winners now!

Photography by Kathleen Furey

Competition 12

Plants and Planet

Plants and Planet

New category for IGPOTY 13

Photography by Dennis Frates

Plants and Planet

Plants and Planet is a new main competition category that recognises and raises awareness of the many environmental challenges facing plant life, in particular, climate change.

The title is a reference to the 1974 work, Plant and Planet, by Anthony Huxley, who said: “In the final analysis, man, be he botanist, gardener, or plain Homo sapiens, is utterly dependent on plants.”

This massive global issue is due to affect every living thing on earth and plants will play a significant, if not the most significant role in the story of climate change.

Not only can they help ameliorate some of the problems we are due to face in the next century, such as food supply, carbon capture and urban air pollution they will also face existential threats.

Botanic Gardens Conservation International lists temperature effects, rainfall and other factors such as a changing soil type and herbivory (consumption of plants by animals) as current issues. There are also many more future potential effects on species with long life cycles or slow dispersal periods, isolated species, coastal species and increased invasions by alien species.

Images can, therefore, depict a plant or area facing a current or future threat. And the list of threats is severe, particularly when coupled with other human factors such as a growing population and economic drivers.

In the spirit of Huxley’s final analysis, this category encourages documentation of plants affected by the above as well as a celebration of how they are used to mitigate the consequences of climate change and other environmental problems.

This includes any initiative which uses plants in this way, from local tree planting schemes to wider environmental projects.

It is important to capture both sides of this story and both have the ability to find new and exciting ways of engaging with climate change and environmental pressures. How are plants helping the planet and in what ways are they at risk?

Images should inspire others to action. Where there is creativity, community and passion, solutions can always be found to our problems and photography can help us arrive at the answers.

Enter from Feb 12 2019.

-- special category prizes to be announced --

Discover the Majesty of Nature’s Garden

Discover the Majesty of Nature's Garden

Photography by Paula Cooper

Discover the Majesty of Nature's Garden

Since the end of the competition on October 31 we've been hard at work in preparation for our annual launch exhibition held in the Nash Conservatory at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This not only involves everything competition and exhibition related but also the publication of our very special book, which we can't wait to reveal on February 8 when it goes on sale.

It's a busy but extremely rewarding period for us, when everything comes together in celebration of the work of photographers from around the world. And this year continues to explore new and inspirational ways of communicating the beauty and importance of plant life through photography. You don't want to miss this.

The exhibition will be open to the public on February 9. Expect to see winning images from nine main categories: Abstract Views, Beautiful Gardens, Breathing Spaces, Greening the City, The Beauty of Plants, The Bountiful Earth, Trees, Woods & Forests, Wildflower Landscapes and Wildlife in the Garden plus images from Young Garden Photographer of the Year, three Photo Projects and three special awards including Captured at Kew and Celebrating Our Oaks.

As we approach the exhibition launch date it's important to reflect on the meaning of what we're doing and why this photography matters. Dr. Paul Wilkin, Acting Director of Science at Kew Gardens, kindly provided the introduction to our book this year and his words capture the scope of both the mission and our relationship with nature:

"Each of the images compiled in IGPOTY Book 12 is a stunning testament to the beauty of the world’s biodiversity and its roles in human life, from the most basic, such as provision of food, to the heights of our aesthetic, cultural and spiritual experiences..."

The depth of this relationship is profound, and we hope this year's exhibition helps tell this story better than ever before.

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The exhibition at Kew Gardens will run from February 9-March 10 2019. Fore more information visit Kew's website here.

The winners of Competition 12 will be made live on the IGPOTY website from February 8.