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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.

Westwood Lake by Anders25

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.'

DSC_0175

DSC_0175 - Version 2 by mags r

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.'

Surrounded

Surrounded by sunset1uk

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.'

Walnut Trees Plantation

Walnut Trees Plantation by Kam Hong Leung

Winter trees shortlists

You can see the other shortlisted photos for the 'Winter trees' challenge in these galleries:

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Comments

15 January 2014
Thank you for the kind selection of my œWalnut Trees Plantation photo taken in picturesque La Brande, Charente-Maritime, the Cognac Region of South West France as a œWinning Photo. I am honoured and grateful. I warmly welcome the professional critique of my photo by Philip Smith, KEW Gardens IGPOTY (International Garden Photographer of The Year Competition) Director, that will help me learn to become a better photographer.