Blog

Blog

IGPOTY 13 - Still Life (Photo Project) Winners Announcement

IGPOTY 13 - Still Life (Photo Project) Winners Announcement
The Still Life Photo Project closed for entries on August 31st 2019 and has seen winning photographs from; England, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland and United States. The winner of this year's Still Life Photo Project is US photographer Chandler Barrett with the image, 'Summer's . . . Bounty'. Chandler said: "[My work] reflects earlier still life works that the Romans [and originally Greeks] termed xenia. These earliest still life motifs represented abundance and hospitality, in spite of nature’s apparent chaos." Head Judge T. McGlinchey said: "This abundant and dramatic winning image has drawn inspiration from classical motifs and influence from the old masters' paintings, to create a modern photographic masterpiece." Chandler will receive £500, be published in the new IGPOTY 13 book and will feature at the flagship exhibition at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in February 2020. Many congratulations to Chandler and all the other winners, to see them all click here.
Continue reading...

Plant trees every time you enter Plants & Planet!

Plant trees every time you enter Plants & Planet!
International Garden Photographer of the Year has chosen to support WeForest in their mission of planting new trees for the benefit of the climate, people and planet. Photographers can now plant trees every time they enter the new category, Plants & Planet, which is open for entries: . . . https://igpoty.com/competitions/plants-planet-13/ 50% of all Plants & Planet entry fees will be donated to WeForest. This means at least two trees will be planted for every single entry and at least four for a portfolio. The category focuses on capturing images of climate change, the challenges facing plant life and the ways in which we use plants to help mitigate the effects. Images could include anything from sustainable growing initiatives to plants and environments under threat. Deadline for entry is October 31. Images will also be eligible for the grand prize title and a cash prize of £7,500. WeForest has planted over 20 million trees worldwide and works with communities, local organisations and NGOs to develop scalable reforestation projects, demonstrating how it is possible to mobilise communities and restore our degraded soils. WeForest, backed by a scientific network, is growing a movement of small and large responsible companies committed to having a positive impact for people and for our planet.  Tyrone McGlinchey, Managing Director of IGPOTY said: “As a green company that generates a huge amount of visual awareness for the challenges facing plant life, we also have to take direct action and support initiatives that are tackling climate change head-on with workable solutions. Planting new trees is one of the simplest and most effective things we can do.” Manon Koningstein, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of WeForest said: “It has been proven that trees form a big part of the solution to climate change and we are committed to planting 100 million trees in the coming years. We are therefore very happy about the new partnership with IGPOTY and are looking forward to be able to work together to make Earth cooler.” Enter now
Continue reading...

The Greenfingers Charity Garden

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.
Continue reading...

Preparing for the Macro Art Photo Project

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

Claim your free pro lab prints before April 6!

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!  
Continue reading...

Plants and Planet

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 --
Continue reading...

Discover the Majesty of Nature's Garden

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. -- 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.
Continue reading...

New Photo Project for IGPOTY 13

New Photo Project for IGPOTY 13
For 2019 we have the Square Crop Photo Challenge returning as a permanent fixture to our calendar as it takes its place as the fourth Photo Project. The Photo Project will run from September 1 - October 1 2019 and will have a first place prize of £500. In Competition 11, Nigel Burkitt was awarded . . . first place for his beautifully composed image of Echinacea (see here) for the Square Crop Photo Challenge. The format is so versatile that virtually any botanical subject can feature in the image. Tyrone McGlinchey, Managing Director of IGPOTY said: “The art of the crop can make or break an image and a square crop really forces us to consider the place of every element and its contribution to the composition. This Photo Project then is all about balance, critical ability and subject understanding.” Use the main competition categories to draw subject matter inspiration and remember it’s always good to shoot fresh, original captures for every competition. Watch out for more exiting competition news coming soon! More information on this new Photo Project will be available to see on the launch of Competition 13 on February 20.
Continue reading...

Ancient Oaks of Blenheim Palace

Ancient Oaks of Blenheim Palace
Back in September, some of the IGPOTY team visited Blenheim Palace to capture some of their magnificent veteran oaks. Head Forester Nick Baimbridge guided the team through an area in the estate known as High Park. Within, there are are roughly 968 veteran oaks (over 400 years old). The oldest was . . . thought to be the King Oak but is now believed to be the oak featured in this post image, estimated at 1,046 years old. In the latter part of their life cycle the oak starts a natural process of slowing down crown growth and losing outer branches (retrenchment), making trunk size expand with age. Although the veteran period of the oak life cycle is one of natural decline, this oak is still producing new growth and has a dense canopy with massive, sprawling limbs. In other veteran oaks, as leaves and branches are shed from the crown, naturally, or by storm damage, the tree can begin to exhibit intricate shapes from the remaining bare larger branches, taking on the appearance of stag horns and creating a palpable sense of age. The number and age of these oaks make for a landscape unlike any other in its beauty and atmosphere. As Nick Baimbridge explains: “The Ancient Oaks are part of a medieval wood Known as Wychwood Forest, the majority of the ancient oaks on Blenheim Estates are located in an area called High Park. Henry I used it for hunting deer and being part of a Royal forest, no one was allowed to harvest wood from the area. That is why it has been naturally preserved for so long – most of the trees are at least four hundred years old, there are even some that are a thousand years old. Walking amongst the ancient oaks is like walking back in time and you wonder what they have seen in their life time and what stories they could tell. Here at Blenheim we are trying our hardest to preserve the old trees and woodland by cutting back the younger competition and therefore giving them light, and also collecting acorns to grow on for the next generation. We have recently discovered that it is one of the most important ancient woodlands in Europe, not only for the oaks, but for all of the wildlife that it supports; there are many rare fungi, lichens, wild plants and insects.” -- Feeling inspired? Blenheim Palace is home to an extraordinary amount of botanical photographic opportunities and we’re proud to be celebrating this with a new special award, Beautiful Blenheim, which is open now and free to enter.
Continue reading...

The Greater Garden

The Greater Garden
We’re now approaching the final deadline of Competition 12 and it is therefore important to reflect on some of the wider values and aims of the competition, especially if you’re entering for the first time. Specifically, what does garden photography mean to us and why it has to encompass such a . . . broad range of photographic context. Garden photography can seem like a niche genre but unlocking the wider aspects of the subject craft, taps into nature photography and the trends of the current age in the most broadest sense. This is why botanical photography of all kinds is growing in popularity, not just because of its potential but because of its applicability and relevance to the challenges of the modern era, where the environment is facing ever more greater challenges. However, these challenges can be overcome and photography can and must play its part. By focusing on flora, garden photography stretches into vast parts of the natural world all with an equally vast potential for the photographer. Where there’s flora there are the qualities of the garden and all of the accompanying feelings and associations that go with it. The desire to cultivate and control (it could be said all art is a desire to feel, communicate or exert control) that which we see in nature is an ancient activity and the garden is just one of these manifestations. Just as plant hunters would return to royal courts or learned societies with their newfound treasures so the verb ‘capture’ is used to describe the act of creating a botanical photograph that we can share with the world without a need for exploitation and human cost. That is the beauty of the current quest. To take up the same initiative of cultivation and control, but to renewed celebratory and inspirational ends. The age of discovery will never truly die. The cultivation of values and activities that bring us closer to nature, not further apart is the new act of botanical capture. A garden then is a space used to nurture this connection and the camera is the proof of its existence, wherever we may be. Photography helps quantify this experience and communicate its importance. We therefore define garden photography as the ways in which we experience flora, in any location, in any setting with any interpretation. Taking ownership of important things we have the ability to control, whilst cultivating that which we want to see in the world is what modern day garden photography means to us and we’re more excited than ever to say, enter now.
Continue reading...

Call for entries into International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition 12

Call for entries into International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition 12
The International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition 12 main competition is now approaching the final deadline of October 31. Competition 12 sees more exciting opportunities for winning an award plus more partnerships and prizes than ever before, as we work to celebrate and protect plants, . . . gardens and green spaces around the world. Now is the perfect time to be working on your images – from plant portraits to fantastical botanical landscapes – help us inspire the world to see the value, beauty and importance of a green planet. The overall winner will receive £7,500 for the best single image and the overall winner of the Portfolios will win £2,000 and a gold medal from the Royal Photographic Society. Best in category photographers will receive separate cash prizes, and new for Competition 12, first, second and third category places will receive a special subscription to ImageRights, a service for tracking and enforcing copyright of images. Selected winners will be exhibited at the world famous Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in February 2019. Winners will then tour to exhibitions across the UK, Europe and worldwide and feature extensively in national and international media coverage.  See your images featured at some of the world’s most iconic cultural and horticultural venues, from museums, botanic gardens and art galleries to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. New partnerships include the Botanic Gardens Conservation International Threatened Plants Photographic Award which has special prizes. Entries into The Beauty of Plants will automatically be considered for this award. With 9 main categories to choose from and unique special awards, there is something for everyone – including the return of the European Garden Photography Award which has a separate first place prize of 1000 Euros. We also see the return of the Abstract Views category which proved particularly popular, producing highly original photography, pushing the genre and expanding our perception of nature. Winners will also feature in our beautiful annual book publication which is sold across the world at our exhibition venues. The competition is open to amateurs and professionals worldwide and you don’t need expensive camera equipment to enter. Categories and Special Awards include: The Beauty of Plants Beautiful Gardens The Bountiful Earth Wildflower Landscapes Greening the City Portfolios Wildlife in the Garden Trees, Woods & Forests Breathing Spaces Abstract Views European Garden Photography Award Captured at Kew For more information on each category visit the category guide: https://igpoty.com/igpoty-competition-12/ It’s an absolute privilege to be part of this competition which is the industry leader for garden, planet and botanical photography. All photographers want their work to mean something and competitions should stand for something bigger than the sake of competition itself. Entering a competition says something about your work as a photographer and IGPOTY’s message is louder and clearer than ever: we must continue to celebrate the beauty and importance of a green planet. Photography demonstrates over and over again that it has a unique power to inspire and educate and our twelfth competition year holds vast new potential for positive environmental awareness. -- Remember, don’t leave it until the last minute to ensure an optimum experience and so you have enough time to edit your entries. We’re here to help with any questions @igpoty on social. Don’t forget to sign up for mailshots for the latest news, updates and competition reminders. Good luck! Let's make it the best yet. Enter now.
Continue reading...

Celebrating our Oaks

Celebrating our Oaks
A new special award within the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition has been launched to highlight the plight of the UK’s oaks. The oak tree holds a very special place in the hearts and minds of people, from druids staging rituals in oak groves to King Charles II hiding in one, . . . the oak plays a huge part in our culture and history. Almost 6,000 oaks went towards building Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory and the oak hammer beam roof in Westminster Hall took 660 tonnes of oak to construct, making it the largest in Northern Europe. Not only is it culturally important but oak is a foundation species supporting over 2200 other species and is the UK’s most important tree for biodiversity. There are over 121 million oaks in the UK, and more ancient oaks than the rest of Europe combined. These include the globally important Atlantic oak woodland – our temperate rainforest, The benefits they bring are priceless for biodiversity; culturally, economically and for our sense of wellbeing, losing them would be devastating. UK oaks are under threat and we must act now to protect this iconic tree for the future.  Pests and diseases are challenging its very survival. Oak processionary moth, acute oak decline, root-attacking species of honey fungus and powdery mildews are all present in the UK today and weakening or killing our majestic oak trees, with the bacterial disease, Xyllela fastidiosa, an increasing threat as it moves its way across Europe towards the UK. Faced with these challenges, Action Oak, a new initiative that aims to protect our oaks for future generations, was launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May. A unique collaboration of environmental bodies, charities, governments and landowners, Action Oak is working to raise the £15 million needed to fund a programme of activities which includes: – Working with owners and managers of oak trees to help to protect the trees from the range of threats that they face; – Funding research to improve our understanding of the threats to our oak trees and to inform best management practices; – Using established professional and citizen science networks to record changes in the distribution, age and health of our oak trees to identify priority areas for action. This programme of vital research and monitoring into the threats oaks are facing will build upon the ground-breaking research being undertaken already, that has not only helped us to understand the oak much better than before, but which has also revealed just how much there still is to learn, if we are to protect these much-loved trees for future generations. To highlight the importance of these amazing trees in our landscape we are asking photographers to take pictures of their favourite oaks and to enter them in this special section of 2018’s International Garden Photographer of the Year competition. As well as the thrill of finding and photographing your favourite oak tree, by entering you will be supporting Action Oak and giving yourself the chance to win a prize that money can’t buy. Enter now.
Continue reading...