The International Garden Photographer of the Year 2008 awards were announced yesterday, 22nd May 2008, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Coinciding with the opening of the accompanying outdoor exhibition in the Gardens, the winners were presented with prizes of cash and vouchers worth over £30,000. Awards included the best single image; best portfolio and best single image from the under 16s. The three winners represent the very best in garden photography from across the world, both amateurs and professionals.
The winners were chosen from the finalists' works exhibited at Kew, and were selected by a panel of eleven judges from the thousands of entries received from all around the world. Competitors were invited to enter single images or themed portfolios into any of the five competition categories.
The overall winner of the £5,000 prize for the best single image is Australian, professional photographer, Claire Takacs for Kenrokuen Gardens, Japan. This evocative photograph of the famous Japanese gardens in a flurry of snowflakes was selected from the Garden Views category.
The Best Portfolio Prize, for £3,000 cash plus £2000 Calumet vouchers, goes to amateur photographer, Henrique Souto from Portugal for Leaves, a collection of six images. These immaculate studio shots of autumn leaves reflects Henrique's passion for the natural world and above all, trees.
The Young Garden Photographer of the Year title goes to Fergus Gill for the best single image from an under 16 year old, for Partridge Reflection. Fergus is 15 years old from Perthshire, Scotland. Fergus wins a Canon EOS 40D 17-85 kit plus more that £500 worth of vouchers from Manfrotto, Kata and Visible Dust.
Each category received £700 cash and over £700 of equipment vouchers from Kata, Manfrotto and Visible Dust.
The winners of each category were:
- Plant Portraits - Chinch Gryniewicz for Marguerites in Rain
- My Garden - Dennis Frates for Desert Garden
- Garden Views - Claire Takacs for Kenrokuen Gardens
- Life in the Garden - Andrew Bailey for Tug of War
- Trees - Colin Roberts for Ash tree on The Downs
The Trees category complements Kew's Summer Festival of Trees, which will be celebrated from 24th May - 28th September 2008.
Professor Stephen Hopper, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said: "We are delighted to be showing the Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition here at Kew Gardens and hope that seeing these wonderful photographs will inspire more people to share the beauty of plants and gardens through photography. We are particularly pleased to see such fantastic international response and are already looking forward to next year when the new "World Botanic Gardens" category will complement Kew's 250th anniversary celebrations."
The prizes were generously donated by Canon, Calumet, Manfrotto, Kata and Visible Dust.
The exhibition runs from Saturday 24th May until September 2008 in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
All the pictures from the exhibition, plus those commended by the judges can be seen in the book Garden Photographer of the Year, Collection 01, from AA Publishing. Available from 23rd May, price £25
For more information please visit the International Garden Photographer of the Year website.