Highlights from Kew's 'Winter trees' photo challenge
In November and December 2013 we invited members of our 'Your Kew' and 'Natural Neighbourhood' Flickr groups to take part in our 'Winter trees' photo challenge. International Garden Photographer of the Year Director Philip Smith selects his favourites.
Featured photos - Your Kew 'Winter trees' Photo Challenge
1. Westwood by Anders25 (see main image, above). Philip comments: 'Autumn or winter? Not sure - but the sitting figures look suitably chilly! This is just a lovely composition with the trees framing and creating the view. The positioning of the two sitting figures. emphasised by the strong vertical trunk behind them and the fence in front, anchors the viewer in the scene; we can imagine ourselves sitting there - they provide a sense of perspective and depth in the scene. Photographing into the sun can bring its own problems of lens flare and losing detail - but the photographer has avoided this - perhaps waiting until a bit of thin cloud was diffusing the sun.'
2. DSC_0175 - Version 2 by mags r (below) Philip comments: 'Trees are a difficult subject - trying to encompass the majesty and sheer volume of a tree into a simple 2D rectangular image is not trivial. Taking an abstract viewpoint, mags r has created an interesting and unsual shape which does communicate the grandeur of the tree more eloquently than a 'straight' image. Removing colour information has emphasised texture and shape - a fitting treatment for 'winter trees' - and there is a lovely rhythm to this unusual shot.'
Featured photos - Natural Neighbourhood 'Winter trees' Photo Challenge
1. Surrounded by sunset1uk - Philip comments: 'Reflections of trees in water are frequently photographed as they show us a glimpse of a different reality - an upside down world which is always intriguing. The key to this picture is being at the right moment in the right place. Not only is the water very smooth, the light hitting the tops of the trees contrasts with the parts of the tree in shadow which in turn "lifts" the whole composition. The "colour" of the light is also wonderfully atmospheric.'
2. Walnut trees plantation by Kam Hong Leung - Philip comments: 'Trees in winter reveal strong graphic shapes and it's very rewarding to take the camera out looking for these natural or semi-natural arrangements. The arrangement of the trees in this image make me think of a musical scale. The light in this image is very flat, which suits the low-key composition.and the muted tones of the tree trunks. The more vivid tones of the grass lends a pleasing note of contrast.'
Winter trees shortlists
You can see the other shortlisted photos for the 'Winter trees' challenge in these galleries: