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The International Garden Photographer Award announced the winners of its seventeenth edition.
British photographer June Sharpe came first thanks to an abstract image titled “Birdscape” (bird landscape, in free translation).
“The layered branches of this conifer reminded me of the dancing cranes that often appear in Japanese woodcuts,” said the artist who lives in Canterbury in southeast England.
During image processing, Sharpe enhanced what he described as “a sense of birds dancing in a fantasy forest”.
Announcing the verdict, jury chairman Tyrone McGlinchey said: “When we judge images, we hope they take us on a journey.”
And in the case of Sharpe’s image, he said it “takes us to a place full of hope and peace. It’s rare for someone to be able to connect with nature.”
At the precise moment
Also British Annaick Guitteny won first place in the “Portfolios” category with a set of six photographs entitled “Evanescent”. Each of which is a close-up of a plant covered in water droplets.
“I love capturing those fleeting moments early in the morning when these little ephemeral jewels adorn the plants and illuminate them,” explained the award-winner.
In turn, Annie Green-Armytage’s photograph titled ““Autumn Sunset” (Autumn Sunset, in free translation), in which a sunset is enjoyed in a private garden in Suffolk (153 kilometers northwest of London) won the Beautiful Gardens category.
“The sunset was the ultimate gift from our majestic natural world, a moment of beauty that I was privileged to capture. For a moment, I even forgot about my cold, numb fingers,” said the photographer.
Capturing the magic
The “Relaxing Spaces” category was won by Andrea Graham with a photograph taken in Eryri National Park, North Wales, titled “The Lone Tree” (The lonely tree, in literal translation), which opens this text.
Recounting the process of capturing the image, Graham said: “It was a truly magical morning, we arrived to find mist rolling across the lake (Llyn Padarn) and we had the place to ourselves. It was almost spiritual and incredibly peaceful.”
“As the early blue hour progressed, we were blessed with these beautiful shades of pink, before the sun finally rose over the mountains and kissed the famous, lonely tree,” he added.
Leena Roy won the “Plants and Planet” category.
The photographer went to Bunaken National Park, on the island of Sulawesi (Indonesia), and photographed an underwater mangrove.
“Mangroves not only function as carbon banks, but they also stabilize the coast against storms and erosion, as well as being a vital habitat for fish, crustaceans and hunters such as sea snakes”, said the winner.
Without leaving home
Angi Wallace took first place in the “Beauty of Plants” category with a photograph of a flower taken on her dining room table.
“My camera was placed on a mini tripod (…) I chose to focus and stack 43 images to make the most of the combination of the object’s high details with a soft, dreamlike background,” he explained.
A one millimeter tall mushroom was the subject of the photograph that won Barry Webb first place in the “Mushroom World” category.
“I was surprised to see the unusual cube-shaped ice formations on the body of this slime mold. This photo is made up of 87 focused images grouped and stacked together,” Webb explained.
The “Trees and Forests” category was won by Drew Buckley, who captured a misty scene on the River Brathay, about 270 miles north of London.
“The cool blues of the frozen landscape contrast with the warm orange tones of the morning sun, covering the trees in lovely light,” explained Buckley.
Albert Ceolan, in turn, won first place in the “Landscapes and wildflowers” category.
“I captured this vast meadow of wildflowers, stretching as far as the eye can see, across a plateau of the Alpe di Siusi, the largest alpine meadow in Europe,” said Ceolan.
The photo was taken in northern Italy, in the Tyrol region.
Fernando Avanka’s photograph of a squirrel in Sri Lanka won the “Wildlife in the Garden” category.
“It was a slightly cloudy afternoon when I saw several squirrels moving around in the green grass, playing and eating,” Avanka said.
“I positioned myself in a perfect spot, waiting, and was lucky enough to photograph this smart-looking individual, standing on his hind legs, nibbling on a grass seed, thinking to himself, ‘this is delicious.’ I finally captured the photo I wanted,” Avanka commented.
With this recognition, the photographer adds to the list of awards he has received in recent years, including mentions at the Wildlife Photographer or the Monochrome Awards.