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Last call for International Garden Photography competition entries

Philip Smith
9 October 2013

There are just three weeks to go to get your entries in for this year's International Garden Photographer of the Year competition - deadline 31 October.

We get a lot of people come to us at shows or workshops who say ‘I wish I’d entered’, or ‘I’ve only just got my first camera so I’m not really good enough’, or simply ‘We’re just not brave enough to enter’!

Actually, IGPOTY is an ideal competition for first timers as we have a special New Shoots award which is specifically for people who have not entered IGPOTY before, or at any time in the last three years.

Read more about the New Shoots category of the IGPOTY competition

We are looking for photographers who have only recently been inspired by the world of gardens and plants. We want to encourage emerging talent – and you can be any age to enter. You don’t need a fancy or expensive camera - many of our New Shoots images are taken on compact cameras and that’s absolutely fine.

Photo of Primula Vialii by Zoe Ferrie

Primula Vialii by Zoe Ferrie

And don’t forget, everyone who enters IGPOTY can request personal feedback on their images from the judges (after the competition), so you get a full critique of your pictures and tips from the professionals on how to improve your photography.

If you’re still not sure, Kew is an ideal place to start – why not visit the IGPOTY exhibition which is currently on show in the Nash Conservatory for inspiration - plus there are endless opportunities within Kew to shoot great pictures.

The grounds, plants, flowers, textures, buildings and more – all make fabulous subjects. If you need a little focus, try shooting for just one specific IGPOTY category – edibles, flowers, or perhaps trees - and set yourself a mini challenge to shoot pictures specifically to enter the competition.

Two deer eat flowers from a vase in a misty cemetary in San Mateo County, California, USA

Tender vegetation by Diane Varner

Often less is more, so think carefully about composition, check that everything in the frame deserves to be there, and ensure your image is as good as possible technically. Check for sharpness on key elements and work hard to get a good exposure – it really can make a lot of difference.

This time of year it’s worth getting up early too – early morning mist and soft light are perfect conditions!

Go on, go for it!

- Philip Smith -


Related links


IGPOTY 6 book 

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