Nature in close-up: the beauty of garden wildlife

Lucy Purdy

The International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, which is run in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens in London, holds three contests each year. Here are the finalists in the prize for the most striking close-up images

From the lives of tiny insects, to the mesmerising, swirling shapes in seeds and flowers, photographers have been exploring our planet in detail through macro photography as part of the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition.

 

Winner
Mayflies, by Petar Sabol
Goričan, Croatia

Petar Sabol/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“The gorgeous, enriching light of a new day covered this pair of mayflies, basking on a backlit Papaver flower.”

Second place
Salad Burnet Flower, by Ian Gilmour
West Yorkshire, England

Ian Gilmour/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“It is only with a macro lens that the true beauty of these tiny flowers of Sanguisorba minor can be appreciated.”

Third place
Unfurling, by Ashley Moore
Kings Canyon National Park, California, US

Ashley Moore/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“At dusk, the gentle sunlight highlighted the densely coiled inflorescence of this Phacelia. At first glance, one might suspect they were caterpillars.”


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Finalist
Bodhi Leaf, by Lotte Grønkjær-Funch
Copenhagen, Denmark

Lotte Grønkjær-Funch/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“I bought this bodhi leaf (Ficus religiosa) from my local flower shop and used a calla lily placed behind the leaf to form the rich emanating colours.”

Finalist
Common Spotted Orchid, by Nigel Burkitt
Berkshire, England

Nigel Burkitt/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“I love finding native orchids; it’s a real joy to see them. This backlit Dactylorhiza fuchsii looked so vibrant, shimmering like a jewel.”

Finalist
Jacky Parker, Anemone de Caen
Buckinghamshire, England

Jacky Parker/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“This image is a creative edit of the beautiful spring flowering white Anemone coronaria flower, also known as the poppy anemone, Spanish marigold, or windflower.”

Finalist
Jumping Spider, by Richard Kubica
Myjava, Slovakia

Richard Kubica/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“I used a macro lens plus a magnifier and focus stacking to reveal the full details of this amazing little predator.”

Highly commended
Mother, by Rob Blanken
Veenwouden, Netherlands

Rob Blanken/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“The newly laid eggs and sparkling light provided a complementary contrast to the dark amphibious head.”

Highly commended
Photonic Bliss V, by Petar Sabol
Palovec, Croatia

Petar Sabol/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“I used a star filter to create this unusual and dramatic effect, capturing a ray of light directed at the plant and the three marbled white butterflies.”

Highly commended
Green Apple, by Zhang Lihua
East Lake, Wuhan City, China

Zhang Lihua/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“I couldn’t help noticing the similarity between these leaves and two apples, one red, one green. When observed carefully nature can always give a new perspective.”

Highly commended
On Fire, by Claudia de Jong
Lapland, Finland

Claudia de Jong/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“The onset of spring beckons tiny strands of fire from the ground from the moss – Polytrichum strictum. A double in-camera exposure helped to bring more depth and vibrancy to the image.”

Highly commended
Astrantia Major, by Jacky Parker
Hampshire, England

Jacky Parker/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“I wanted to showcase the beauty of the Astrantia flower and bud by using the contrast of a white background.”

Commended
Miró’s Garden, by Elizabeth Kazda
Wisconsin, US

Elizabeth Kazda/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“To capture this scene, I placed pieces of dried Cotinus and water on layers of glass. The colour and light come from my technique of using spectral light from a prism to illuminate subjects. This photograph was created in the style of Spanish abstract artist Joan Miró.”

Commended
Poppy, by Jane Dibnah
Shropshire, England

Jane Dibnah/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“I chose to focus on the centre of the poppy with its crowned structure and bejewelled stamens. The outer petals were kept out of focus to draw the eye to this regal focal point.”

Commended
Dancing Matches, by Aleksander Ivanov
Kronshtadt, Russia

Aleksander Ivanov/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“When properly combined together even the individual parts of the flower can make a beautiful and curious composition.”

Commended
It’s a Small World, by Trui Heinhuis
Wildflower meadow, Spain

Trui Heinhuis/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“I was shooting a snail hanging on a stem among a beautiful field of poppies when a grasshopper leapt into view.”

Commended
Heaven, by Petar Sabol
Goričan, Croatia

Petar Sabol/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“I used a special lens to create beautiful soap bubble bokeh; a perfect complement to the majesty of the natural subjects.”

Commended
Frozen Sphagnum, by Tina Claffey
County Offaly, Leinster, Ireland

Tina Claffey/International Garden Photographer of the Year

“In sub-zero temperatures in the heart of the Killaun Bog, I noticed that the Sphagnum mosses beneath the water surface were frozen, suspended in time in their green, mystical beauty.”

Visit igpoty.com to find out more



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