The beautiful frame – Garden photography

The International Garden Photographer of the Year competition is open to amateurs as well as pros, writes Harriot Lane Fox

In pictures: International Garden Photographer of the Year entries

Chelsea Flower Show 2008

In a scene stolen from a shaken snow dome, a couple with bright umbrellas hurry across a bridge through a flurry of snow at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Japan. It is an ethereal, atmospheric image and it has won Claire Takacs the title of International Garden Photographer of the Year.

 
Winning entries: (clockwise from top left) Kenrokuen Garden, Japan by Claire Takacs; autumn leaf by Henrique Souto; partridge and reflection by Fergus Gill (aged 15); robin with worm by Andrew Bailey

This is a brand new competition, open to amateur photographers, who made up 70 per cent of the entries in its inaugural year, as well as professionals.

“The idea is to inspire a much wider audience to get involved in garden photography,” says Jane Nichols, one of the organisers who is also the business partner and wife of the leading professional photographer Clive Nichols.

“We want to do for plants and gardens what the Wildlife Photographer of the Year does for wildlife.”

Thousands of entries poured in – they won’t say exactly how many for fear of scaring off future competitors – from all over the world.

Claire Takacs is Australian and Henrique Souto, winner of “Best Portfolio” for his autumn leaves backlit on a black background, is an amateur from Portugal. And the best images in the five categories are staggering.

For “wildlife in the garden”, amateur photographer Andrew Bailey captured a hungry robin in mid-tussle with an elasticated earthworm, while semi-pro Chinch Gryniewicz won “Plant Portraits” with a shot of marguerite heads in the rain.

Young Garden Photographer of the Year Fergus Gill (aged 15) from Perthshire caught a red-legged partridge gazing at itself in a window.

Claire Takacs’ winning picture was in the “Garden Views” category.

“This is a deeply atmospheric picture, brilliantly achieved in conditions in which many photographers would have just gone home,” says fellow professional and judge Andrew Lawson.

“The pictures were anonymous when we judged them, but it turned out that several of Claire Takacs’ entries had done well. I think we’ve discovered an outstanding garden photographer as our first winner.”

The 11 judges included Clive Nichols, television gardener and designer Chris Beardshaw, Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins, Kew Gardens’ top tree man Tony Kirkham and Gordon Rae for the RHS. They looked for originality and for images that rewarded contemplation rather than being instantly appealing.

Competitors can use any camera (even a mobile telephone), digitally manipulate the images, and enter either single pictures or portfolios of six with a unifying theme. Entry fees start at £10 and there is no expensive processing as all images are submitted online.

The prize money is also an incentive. Takacs receives £5,000, Souto £3,000 and there are smaller cash prizes for category winners and runners up. The finalists’ work will be published in a glossy coffee-table book and exhibited at Kew.

Next year is Kew’s 250th birthday so the organisers have introduced a new category: “World Botanic Gardens”. “We hope to take the exhibition to botanic gardens all over the world,” said Jane Nichols. If they pull it off, the kudos for the competition, and for its winner, will be considerable.

How to enter in 2009

Daily Telegraph readers who enter the International Garden Photographer of the Year before the end of May can submit a set of four single images in any of the seven categories for half price (£5). Enter the code DTELMDSF when paying. The closing date is January 31, 2009. Visit www.igpoty.com for full details.

The ‘International Garden Photographer of the Year 2008’ exhibition is on at Kew until September 28 (020 8332 5655; http://www.kew.org).
 

 

 

Blog spot on pro photographer Scott Hogg ABPPA

SWPP & BPPA member Scott Hogg of Aberdeen Aberdeenshire has a photographic blog highlighting their professional photographic business

Their blog features

Alice and Alistair

My first wedding in St Andrews!

We headed to a ruined cathedral for some photographs. It was quite dramatic with the stormy sea in the background. The videographer on the day was Roy Stewart. If you’re looking for a videographer I would thoroughly recommend Roy.

Scott is a specialist photographer in Wedding Landscape photography

Visit Scott at: http://scotthogg.blogspot.com/

Digital Photography & Imaging Show London

London presentations on Adobe’s Digital Imaging software

June 26 – 27, 2008, Business Design Centre, London

Adobe product demonstrations will be featured at the Digital Photography & Imaging Show to be held in Islington, North London. Eight free 45-minute sessions will be presented on both days by top presenters Robin Preston, Matthew Stuart, Jonathan Briggs and Rob Griffiths. They will demonstrate how photographers and agency folk can expand their potential with the Adobe Photoshop family of applications. The sessions cover Adobe Photoshop CS3, Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements and colour management techniques.

Noise in Action Photography Competition

UK – Cirrus Research plc, which specialises in the design and development of noise measurement equipment for health and safety applications has launched its Noise in Action Photography Competition. Cirrus is looking for interesting, unusual or imaginative images of its noise measurement instruments in use, and the winner will receive a pair of Sennheiser PCX-350 Noise Cancelling Headphones. The closing date for entries is 29 August.

James Tingay of Cirrus Research explains, “Cirrus equipment is used in so many different sectors, from mining and industry, to clubs and bars, and we are looking to add colour to our promotional material and website with some really exciting images of our products in use.”

The entries can include any Cirrus Sound Level Meter or the doseBadge Noise Dosemeter, and must include the product in use. Full competition rules can be found on www.cirrusresearch.co.uk.

Blog spot on pro photographer Nicola Grimshaw-Mitchell

SWPP & BPPA member Nicola Grimshaw-Mitchell of Bury Lancashire has a photographic blog highlighting her professional photographic business.

Their blog features

Wedding Shoot in France

Last week I returned from a fun wedding shoot in the South of France at Chateau Pomiro. They are now hosting weddings and wanted some shots to show how wonderful a venue it is! My lovely models James & Beverly had fun even though they were very hot in all their finery! I stole off with Bev after for some

Trash the Dress photos, there were many great places around the Chateau for some unusual shots – my favourite being in the compost heap!

Nicola is a specialist photographer in Wedding photography.

NIKON BOOSTS CASHBACK OFFER FOR MAY BANK HOLIDAY

Nikon UK is celebrating the second of the May bank holidays by increasing its spring cashback offer on the Nikon D60 by 50% on purchases made between 22nd – 28th May 2008, inclusive.

Over the bank holiday weekend customers will be able to claim 50% more cashback on the existing spring promotion up to the following amounts:

Existing spring cashback
50% extra cashback
22nd May – 28th May 08
D60 single lens kit
£40 (€50)
£60 (€75)
D60 twin lens kit      
£60 (€80)
£90 (€120)
Claims Required by
31st July 08
31st July 08

Customers should look out for the promotional voucher which will be available in selected national newspapers over the bank holiday, as well as selected stores across the country and online.

To claim the cashback customers should attach the voucher to the claim form which can also be obtained Nikon’s website where more information about submitting claims can be found.

Offer is subject to availability.

Blog spot on pro photographer Helen Spendlove-Hilder

SWPP & BPPA member Helen Spendlove-Hilder of Ilkeston Derbyshire has a photographic blog highlighting their professional photographic business.

Hi I’m Helen a photographer based in Derbyshire. Having had a passion for photography since a young age it was only natural for it to become my profession. Horses have been a life long love and this makes it easy for me to capture them in image. I cover Equestrian events and portraiture.

Helen is a specialist photographer in Wedding, Sport, Equestrian images, Still life, Nature, Portrait and Fine art photography.

Blog spot on pro photographer Cormac O’Kelly

SWPP & BPPA member Cormac O’Kelly of Rathfarnham Dublin has a photographic blog highlighting their professional photographic business

Chase Jarvis website relaunch

Back again! The wedding season is heating up, just like the weather. Off to Spain next week to shoot a wedding in Marbella, so that should be interesting.

I have just gotta a mail from the guys at Chase Jarvis to say that there website has been relaunched.

Well worth a look and his videos are terrific for anybody interested in photography. Chase is a lifestyle and popular culture photographer who splits his time between Seattle and Paris (nice work if you can get it).

Check it out … You’ll thank me for it!

Cormac is a specialist photographer in Wedding Sport Corporate Action Portrait Lifestyle photography

Blog spot on pro photographer Nicholas Cleave

SWPP & BPPA member Nicholas Cleave of Swansea West Glamorgan has a photographic blog highlighting their professional photographic business

We have had our first ‘Real Wedding’ featured published this month in WM Bride Magazine. A fantastic Xmas winter wedding we photographed in late 2006. Click here to see the double page article with images.

Also in the same edition of this magazine we have had our images used and have contributed answers to a special feature on ‘Special Wedding Photography.’ Click here to read the useful advice on choosing our photographer and to see our images.

Our thanks as always go to the couples featured in these two articles. Without you, showcasing our work in this way would not be possible.

Nicholas is a specialist photographer in Wedding Commercial Photography Press & PR Stock photography