22 January 2014
The hunt for the world’s best garden photographer of 2013 has come to an end as the UK’s leading gardening charity, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), announces the results of its annual photographic competition.
Brighton-based photographer Heather Buckley’s striking image of foxgloves in the gardens at Great Dixter House, East Sussex was chosen from thousands of entries to win the prestigious competition and a prize of £1,000. 17-year-old Mateusz Piesiak from Poland was named RHS Young Photographer of the Year for his stunning image of a starling and receives £250 in vouchers to spend on the Wex Photographic website.
The judging panel for the RHS Photographer of the Year, which was made up of Clive Nichols, one of the world's finest flower and garden photographers, Chris Young, editor of highly regarded gardening magazine The Garden and RHS competition organiser Carol Sheppard, were unanimous in their praise of Heather’s work.
Chris Young commented: “The quality of images submitted this year, which attracted entries from more than 40 countries, made for an enjoyable but difficult task for the judging panel. The range of images we looked at demonstrates the enthusiasm and passion that people have for capturing the beauty of the natural world. The winning image, which demonstrates a fusion of skilful photography, patience and opportunity, is a perfect fit for the RHS Photographic Competition, as it celebrates the essential relationship between plants and wildlife.
Speaking about her victory, Heather said: “It’s a great honour to be named RHS Photographer of the Year, as it’s hard to get recognised as a photographer and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to show my work to a larger audience.
“I am really a people and street photographer, but thought the competition would be a great challenge for me as I also love gardens and flowers. I decided to try taking some flower images in my usual street style rather than the close-up style traditionally associated with flower photography. Using a wide-angle lens, in this case a fish-eye, I spent most of the afternoon trying to get this shot, taking the unusual viewpoint of looking up through the towering pink foxgloves at the bees. I finally nailed it with this image.
Chris Collins, Blue Peter Gardener and judge of RHS Young Photographer of the Year, chose budding Polish photographer Mateusz Piesiak’s beautiful image of a starling from a very strong field of entries.
Speaking about the image, Chris said: “By bringing out the colour in the wings, and tying it in with the soft colours of the dawn mist, Mateusz has created a work of great beauty
‘In pastels’ by Mateusz Piesiak, RHS Young Photographer of the Year
The competition was open to both professional and amateur photographers who were invited to submit images to any of the six adult categories including Seasons, Wildlife and People, and two categories specifically for under-18s. The RHS Photographer of the Year, Heather Buckley, and the RHS Young Photographer of the Year, Mateusz Piesiak, were selected from the winning images from each of these categories for their overall artistry, creativity and technical excellence.
Medici Cards, sponsors of the RHS photographic competition will also choose an image from all the competitions entrants to publish as a greeting card.
Image: RHS Photographer of the Year 2013 - Plants - 1st - Foxgloves at Great Dixter House by Heather Buckley.