Highlights from Kew's 'Sights of Summer' photo challenge

In summer 2013, we invited members of our 'Your Kew' and 'Natural Neighbourhood' Flickr groups to take part in our 'Sights of Summer' photo challenge. Philip Smith, Director of the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, comments on his favourites.

15 Oct 2013

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Kew falls by Chris Ballard

Featured photos - Your Kew 'Sights of Summer' Photo Challenge

1. Kew falls by Chris Ballard (see main image, above). Philip comments: "This is a very successful composition. The eye is led to the waterfall because it is positioned just off-centre of the frame. The tree behind stops the eye moving out of the frame. The photographer has chosen the right shutter speed to make sure that there is lively movement in the water - faster and the water movement freezes - slower and it becomes grey blur."


2. Flower by Rupinder Virdi - Philip comments: "Bees are very difficult to get right - they often have their back to you! The photographer has got just the right moment and they have made the composition very simple by eliminating anything other than the key objects in the frame. They have done this by using a shallow depth of field so the background is out of focus. The bee is nice and sharp - a very fine achievement."


Featured photos - Natural Neighbourhood 'Sights of Summer' Photo Challenge

1. Strongylodon macrobotys by Eclectic - Philip comments: "This unusual shot caught my eye immediately. The photographer has edited out everything they are not interested in - the background - the other flowers on the stem - and really concentrated our attention on the graceful shapes and the light. Photography is often about what you leave out as much as what you put in."


2. My new little friend by Anna - Philip comments: "This juvenile Robin probably posed quite nicely for this shot but you have to grab the opportunities when they come along! This is nice and sharp and there is a lovely light in the bird's eye which always gives a feeling of bright energy. Photography is often defined as being in the right place at the right time - but having the camera with you!" This is a great example of that."


Sights of Summer shortlists

You can see the other shortlisted photos for the 'Sights of Summer' challenge in these galleries:


Philip Smith

Philip Smith, Director of the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, is a professional photographer who specialises in gardens and plants. His photography has featured in many magazines and books, including The English Garden, The Garden (RHS) and Gardeners’ World.


International Garden Photographer of the Year competition

The International Garden Photographer of the Year competition is the world’s premier competition for garden, plant and flower photography and culminates each year in exhibitions at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Place.

The deadline for this year's International Garden Photographer of the Year competition is 31 October 2013. Find out how to enter the competition.

Currently there is an exhibition of last year''s IGPOTY winners at the Nash Conservatory at Kew Gardens. Find out more about the exhibition.

And there is now a sumptuous book showcasing all the winning pictures from last year's competition as well as the best of the rest - International Garden Photographer of the Year: Collection 6 - available at Kew's shops and online.


Join Kew on Flickr and take part in our photo challenge

Kew on Flickr is the official Flickr group for Kew Gardens and Wakehurst. We invite visitors to share their photos of the Gardens and take part in regular photo challenges. There are two photo groups you can join:

'Your Kew' - dedicated to photos taken at Kew Gardens or Wakehurst Place.

'Natural Neighbourhood' - dedicated to photos of flowers, trees and Nature taken anywhere else.




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