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.
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.
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.
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 -
- How to enter the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition
- See the winning photos from last year's New Shoots category
- Visit the IGPOTY exhibition at Kew Gardens
IGPOTY 6 book
About Philip Smith
Philip Smith is a professional photographer specialising in gardens and plants with 15 years’ experience. His photography has featured in many magazines and books including The English Garden, The Garden (RHS) , and Gardeners’ World. His work has also featured in exhibitions at Kew Gardens and the Royal Horticultural Society at Wisley and London.
As co-founder and Managing Director of the International Garden Photographer of the Year Philip is responsible for the world’s premier competition in the field, which culminates in an annual exhibition at Kew Gardens and other venues. Philip is the author of Better Plant and Garden Photography.
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