International Garden photographer of the Year’s winner and finalists
On February 7th, the winners and finalists for Competition 13 of the International Garden photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) awards were announced at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Over 20,000 entries were received from amateur and professional photographers all over the world. The winner of £7,500 and the title of Overall Winner is Albert Ceolan of South Tyrol, Italy. “Over the last few years, IGPOTY has been a source of inspiration for me as well as a great pleasure for the eyes and the soul. The thought that one of my images will be shown as overall winner in these mythical gardens fills me with enthusiasm and pride,” said Ceolan when his was given the news.
“Albert has documented a scene which is simultaneously shocking as it is well composed. The photo cleverly shows both the destruction and the remaining trees symbolising hope. IGPOTY introduced the new category ‘Plants & Planet’ for this very reason to stimulate discussion and arouse awareness of changing global weather and our current climate emergency. By running this category – IGPOTY entrants helped to plant 78 new trees via WeForest in the Brazil project, which focuses on reconnecting remaining patches of the Atlantic forest through forest corridors so that wildlife can continue to reproduce and thrive,” said Tyrone McGlinchey, the competitions Head Judge.
|This year, IGPOTY introduced a new photo project, ‘Square Crop,’ along with a new main category ‘Plants & Planet.’ Image above is ‘Autumn Fragility’ by Jane Simmonds.|
IGPOTY was established in 2007 and is now one of the world’s most renowned photography competitions. Winning entries are exhibited around the United Kingdom, Europe, and the world. As always, it was difficult to choose only 15 photos to display on DPReview. All winners, finalists, and commended entries across the 9 categories and 4 photo projects of this competition can be viewed here.
IGPOTY Overall Winner: ‘The Vaia Storm’ by Albert Ceolan (Italy)
About this photo: This photograph documents the natural destruction of pine forest by storm ‘Vaia’ in late October 2018. Wind speeds peaked at over 120mph, which led to the felling of over 14 million trees and claimed 17 human lives. In the background stands the magnificent Mount Catinaccio, bearing witness to the storm at just under 3,000 metres high.
Location: The Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy
IGPOTY 1st Place, Abstract Views: ‘Fish Pond Fantasy’ by Maggie Lambert (United Kingdom)
About this photo: Scarborough Art Gallery was reflected in the garden’s fish pond, which created an intriguing mix of hard and fluid surfaces and various textures, overlaid by the shapes of pondweed and fishes.
Location: Scarborough Art Gallery, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
IGPOTY 3rd Place, Abstract Views: ‘Tragopogon porrifolius’ by Viktor Sykora (Czech Republic)
About this photo: I used a scanning electron microscope to produce this detailed abstract view of a Tragopogon porrifolius seed. To gain the abstract element I used advanced filters and applied false colours.
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
IGPOTY 1st Place, Beautiful Gardens: ‘Summer Reverie’ by Jacky Parker (United Kingdom)
About this photo: Echinacea ‘Salsa Red’ were the brilliant red stars of this beautiful summer palette of colours taken at the gardens of the New Forest Lavender Farm. I captured a double exposure to soften the grasses and create an evocative botanical daydream.
Location: New Forest Lavender Farm, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom
IGPOTY Commended, Beautiful Gardens: ‘Notes of Tea Garden’ by Ming Li (China)
About this photo: Fujian Province is home to many tea plantations, this one looked even more amazing with its colours and patterns from a bird’s-eye view, which I achieved using my drone.
Location: Fujian Province, China
IGPOTY 1st Place, Breathing Spaces: ‘Larch Basin Dawn’ by Thorsten Scheuermann (United States)
About this photo: The light of dawn on the horizon was enough to make the burnt autumn colour of the Larix (larch) trees in the North Cascades Mountains glow.
Location: North Cascades National Park, Washington, United States
IGPOTY Finalist, Breathing Spaces: ‘Mountain Arrows’ by Mauro Battistelli (Italy)
About this photo: In this vast desert landscape the sharp shards of the mountains contrasted wonderfully with the yellow and green hues of the foliage below.
Location: Salta Province, Argentina
IGPOTY 1st Place, Greening the City: ‘Burst’ by Brandon Yoshizawa (United States)
About this photo: The sunset gave its parting burst over Seattle illuminating the highways and making the intertwined trees and foliage glow across the city.
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
IGPOTY 2nd Place, Plants & Planet: ‘Grass Tree’ by Anne Neiwand (Australia)
About this photo: This amazing individual specimen of Xanthorrhoea (grass tree) is endemic to the harsh conditions in South Australia. I chose to create a panoramic image to incorporate more of the landscape and emphasise the connection between every plant and our planet.
Location: Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia, Australia
IGPOTY 2nd Place, The Beauty of Plants: ‘Summertime’ by Danièle Dugré (Germany)
About this photo: I captured this photograph last summer at BUGA (Federal German Garden Show) in Heilbronn.
There was almost 40 hectares of wasteland between the old course of the River Neckar and the canal which have been redesigned using every type of gardening skill.
I was very impressed by these beautiful backlit flowerbeds, interplanted with tactile grasses, that poured out the scent of summer.
Location: Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
IGPOTY 1st Place, Trees, Woods & Forests: ‘Swamp Elder’ by Thorsten Scheuermann (United States)
About this photo: A stately Taxodium distichum (swamp cypress) tree stood at home on a calm, autumn afternoon in the wetlands surrounded by a ring of their characteristic roots or as I like to call them – knees above water.
Location: Louisiana, United States
IGPOTY 1st Place, Wildflower Landscapes: ‘The Beauty of Spring’ by Zhigang Li (China)
About this photo: The Napahai Nature Reserve, which at an altitude of around 3,300 metres above sea level, is a winter resting spot for tens of thousands of migratory birds as well as a summer pasture for herdsmen.
It was Spring when I captured this pastoral scene full of colourful wildflowers, shapes and textures.
Location: Mountains in Diqing, Yunnan, China
IGPOTY 1st Place, Wildflower Landscapes: ‘Heaven’s Route’ by Mauro Battistelli (Italy)
About this photo: I captured a long exposure on this picturesque coastline, with wild Echium anchored on the clifftop in the foreground, and the sea beyond was foaming around the unique rock formations.
Location: Playa de la Arnía, Cantabria, Spain
IGPOTY 2nd Place, Wildlife in the Garden: ‘The Meeting’ by Henrik Spranz (Croatia)
About this photo: I captured a chance morning meeting between these two Aporia crataegi (black veined white butterflies) as they perched on a flower head of Dianthus carthusianorum subsp. sanguineus.
Location: Pazin, Istria, Croatia
IGPOTY Highly Commended, Wildlife in the Garden: ‘A Spider’s Path’ by Carlo Cinthi (Italy)
About this photo: For such a tiny spider in the garden, every raindrop became a giant obstacle as it continued its journey along this blade of grass.
Location: Milan, Italy