Yorkshire woman wins global garden photo prize

British photographer Jill Welham has been announced as the overall winner of this year’s International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition.

The North Yorkshire photographer beat 19,000 entrants from more than 50 countries to scoop the top prize of £7,500 with her photogram print entitled Fireworks, below. The image shows Allium flower heads from her garden.

Image copyright Jill Welham

Welham used a photogram printing process called wet cyanotype, where ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide are mixed to create a photosensitive solution which is then painted on to watercolour paper and left to dry.

The Alliums are placed between photosensitive paper and a plate of glass, and then exposed to light. When developed, the silhouettes from the flowers create an image on the paper in shades of green and blue.

Welham said: “The resulting pieces are unique and present botanical prints in a different and painterly manner.

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“Each piece is created with plants and flowers from my own garden and exposed using only the North Yorkshire sun.”

We take a look at the winners of 13 other competition categories, along with captions from the photographers.

Beautiful Gardens winner: Bressingham Gardens in Autumn, by Richard Bloom, Norfolk, England, UK

Image copyright Richard Bloom

“Glorious early morning sun bathed the Summer Garden at Bressingham in rich, warming light. Ornamental grasses are featured with swathes of Asterand Rudbeckia.” – Richard Bloom.

Breathing Spaces winner: Farewell, by Andrea Pozzi, Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile

Image copyright Andrea Pozzi

“The sun had already risen and the dawn had been incredible. Wandering through the vegetation, however, I realised that the essence of the territory was only revealing itself in that moment.

“The extraordinary colours of the sunrise had dissolved, leaving behind a unique intimate feeling amongst one of the most beautiful mountain ranges on Earth.” – Andrea Pozzi.

Captured at Kew winner: Lost in the Lush Beauty, by Vincenzo Di Nuzzo, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, England, UK

Image copyright Vincenzo Di Nuzzo

“Opening the door of the Palm House at Kew is like entering a hidden paradise. It never fails to amaze me how fascinated and stunned I become in the presence of such natural beauty.

“I took this photograph whilst my friend was having a similar reaction to the sheer scale and abundance of lush tropical plants.” – Vincenzo Di Nuzzo.

Greening the City winner: Greenbelt, by Halu Chow, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

Image copyright Halu Chow

“I used infrared to precisely define the exact locations of plant life around the city, highlighting the scale and proximity of their presence. It is easy to forget the intimacy and importance of this relationship.” – Halu Chow.

The Beauty of Plants winner: Lotus Tango, by Kathleen Furey, Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, Washington D.C., USA

Image copyright Kathleen Furey

“There are many stages of lotus growth on display at the Aquatic Gardens, but to come across two twisted dancing stems of Nelumbo nucifera was unexpected and quite magical.” – Kathleen Furey.

The Bountiful Earth winner: Colourful Fields, by Suwandi Chandra, Sembalun Lawang, Lombok, Indonesia

Image copyright Suwandi Chandra

“I hiked to the top of Pergasingan Hill early in the morning to catch the sunrise. The view was amazing as it overlooked the rolling hills opposite and Sembalun village below.

“Since most of the people here are farmers, they transform the valley floor into a patchwork of agriculture, growing rice, vegetables and even strawberries.” – Suwandi Chandra.

The Spirit of Trauttmansdorffwinner: View Over Trauttmansdorff, by Harry Tremp, South Tyrol, Italy

Image copyright Harry Tremp

This is a special award category that celebrates the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano in South Tyrol, Italy.

Category winner Harry Tremp said: “The golden hour was just approaching when I captured this view of Trauttmansdorff in October, the green of the deciduous trees just starting to begin their autumn transformation.” – Harry Tremp.

Trees, Woods & Forests winner: Misty Bayou, by Roberto Marchegiani, Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana, USA

Image copyright Roberto Marchegiani

“The Louisiana wetlands are a giant tangle of canals, swamps and forests of palm and cypress trees that encompass the great Mississippi estuary.

“Populated by numerous snakes, alligators, birds and venomous spiders, the often hostile environment is capable of stunning beauty.” – Roberto Marchegiani.

Wildflower Landscapes winner: Mount Rainier in the Mist, by Robert Gibbons, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

Image copyright Robert Gibbons

“I came across a spectacular array of summer alpine flowers on Mazama Ridge, including Castilleja, Lupinusand Anemone occidentalis, all adding character and texture to the scene as if by design.” – Robert Gibbons.

Wildlife in the Garden winner: Starlings, by Jonathan Need, Snowdonia National Park, Wales, UK

Image copyright Jonathan Need

“A heavy snowfall brought a lot of hungry birds to my garden feeder.

“This old nearby tap provided a convenient resting place for this trio of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) while they waited for their turn to feed.” – Jonathan Need.

European Garden Photography Award winner: Cork Oak Gazebo, by Scott Simpson, Cádiz, Andalucía, Spain

Image copyright Scott Simpson

“There cannot be too many gardens in Europe that combine cork oaks (Quercus suber) with manicured gardens.

“I was commissioned to photograph such a place at a luxury real estate property in Andalucía. The garden had the added bonus of a raised gazebo, which was nestled amongst the mature cork oaks.” – Scott Simpson.

Young Garden Photographer of the Year winner: Ladies of the Meadow, by Jake Kneale, Wiltshire, England, UK

Image copyright Jake Kneale

“The rising sun backlit this group of lady’s smock (Cardamine pratensis) in a Wiltshire meadow.

“I used the aperture to turn the water droplets into beautiful bokeh [the out-of-focus areas of the photo] and created a smooth, clean and glistening background.” – Jake Kneale.

Portfolios, Abstract Views winner: Tropical Wonderland, by Jocelyn Horsfall, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, England, UK

Image copyright Jocelyn Horsfall

“The magical, dreamlike effect of infrared was the perfect way to express the mystery and exotic intrigue of the Palm House at Kew Gardens.

“I captured a selection of different plants and foliage to feature across the portfolio in order to show the subtle variety of textures and forms within this tropical paradise.” – Jocelyn Horsfall.

We picked a selection of other images that were finalists or were commended across various categories, below.

Commended in the Wildlife in the Garden category: The Bumblebee, by Andrew Peters, Shropshire, England, UK

Image copyright Andrew Peters

Commended in The Bountiful Earth category: Longji Rice Terraces, by Gloria King, Longsheng, Guangxi Province, China

Image copyright Gloria King

Finalist in Abstract Views category: Iced Nigella, by Dianne English, Kilaben Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Image copyright Dianne English

Commended in Captured at Kew category: A Storm is Brewing, by James Yates, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, England, UK

Image copyright James Yates

Commended in The Beauty of Plants category: Dancing Petals, by Annette Lepple, Aveyron, France

Image copyright Annette Lepple

Third place in Breathing Spaces category: Tumpak Sewu Waterfall, by Suwandi Chandra, Lumajang, East Java, Indonesia

Image copyright Suwandi Chandra

Highly Commended in the Trees, Woods & Forests category: Autumn’s Emerald, by Paul Marcellini, Chipola River, Florida, USA

Image copyright Paul Marcellini

Finalist in Greening the City category: Ephemeral Garden, by Yann Avril, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

Image copyright Yann Avril

Highly Commended in the Beautiful Gardens category: Coughton Court, by Jonathan Evans, National Trust Coughton Court, Alcester, England, UK

Image copyright Jonathan Evans

Commended in Breathing Spaces category: Fisherman on the Li River, by Bill Coster, Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang, China

Image copyright Bill Coster


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