Highlights from Kew's 'Signs of Spring' photo challenge

In spring 2013, we invited members of our 'Your Kew' and 'Natural Neighbourhood' Flickr groups to take part in our 'Signs of Spring' photo challenge. Philip Smith, Director of the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, picks his favourites.

06 Aug 2013

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Holly blue on forget-me-not by Anna

Holly blue on forget-me-not by Anna


Featured photos - Your Kew 'Signs of Spring' Photo Challenge

1. Prunus blossoming in Kew Gardens by Wardandrew

Philip writes: "A very romantic shot. The slight over-exposure has emphasised the airy quality of the colour and texture of the photograph. It is all too easy to simply 'point and shoot' at this kind of wonderful show of colour - but here the photographer has chosen the view carefully to get a good balance of blossom and background colour."


2. Kew Gardens by Mother X

Philip writes: "This shot is all about the wonderful dappled sunlight falling through the trees. Back light - with the sun in front of the camera - such as this often provides a lot of drama and atmosphere and this is a very good example. The slightly wide-angle lens increases the feeling of abundance. The composition is very well realised with the tree off-centre, allowing our imagination to follow the snaky tree branches to the edge of the picture."


Featured photos - Natural Neighbourhood 'Signs of Spring' Photo Challenge

1. Snowdrops in the woods by Flyingpast

Philip writes: "What is very nice about this shot is the effort made to create an interesting angle and to focus attention on a view that can be easily overlooked. Keeping the buildings in the background slightly out of focus enables us to understand the context in which the flowers grow without drawing attention away from them. The bare trees frame the image and concentrate attention on the main subjects of the photograph."


2. Holly blue on forget-me-not by Anna

Philip Smith writes: "A difficult shot to do as these insects are so tiny. But it is very well seen, with the colour of the flower and butterfly in harmony. The insect's 'face' is nicely sharp and it shows real control of photographic technique. The composition also works well with the butterfly just off-centre of the frame."


You can see the other shortlisted photos for the 'Signs of Spring' 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

Find out about the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition and how you can get involved. It is the world’s premier competition for garden, plant and flower photography and culminates each year in exhibitions at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Place. Currently the IGPOTY exhibition is at Wakehurst Place.

Visit Wakehurst Place


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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