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International Garden Photographer of the Year announces winners

Posted on Feb 3, 2023

The annual competition celebrates both amateur and professional plant and garden photography

The International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) Competition 16 closed its entries on 31 October 2022, having accepted submissions across nine main categories. Of the nine photographers awarded first place, Manchester’s Tony North was crowned the overall winner for his stunning nightscape ‘Blue Tajinaste’.

'Blue Tajinaste' © Tony North, IGPOTY 16 Overall Winner

Taken atop a mountain in La Palma, Spain, ‘Blue Tajinaste’ captures the Echium thyrsiflorum native to the Canary Islands. North used a star tracker and multiple exposures to create his final image, which earned him first prize in the ‘Breathing Spaces’ category as well as the grand title. According to North, it required “an enormous amount of effort” to be in the right place (“on top of the caldera in La Palma”) at the right time (“in the middle of the night last May”).

North will receive a £5,000 cash prize, the Threatened Plants Photographic Award (presented in association with Botanic Gardens Conservation International), and his work featured in the IGPOTY exhibition at Kew Gardens from 4 February to 5 March 2023.

The other main competition categories are: ‘7IM Abstract Views’, ‘Beautiful Gardens’, ‘MPB Plants & Planet’, ‘The Beauty of Plants’, ‘The World of Fungi’, ‘Trees, Woods & Forests’, ‘Wildflower Landscapes’ and ‘Wildlife in the Garden’. In addition, the ‘Portfolios’ category is a stand-alone competition run in conjunction with the Royal Photographic Society (RPS).

Barry Webb placed first in ‘Portfolios’ for his impressive six-image series, titled ‘Slime Mould Biodiversity’. Each close-up photo presents a different sub-species of slime mould. Webb will receive a £1,500 cash prize and an RPS Gold Medal.

The other first prize winners are as follows:

  • 7IM Abstract Views: David Townshend, ‘Abandon Hope’
  • Beautiful Gardens: Caroline Piek, ‘The Stream Garden’
  • MPB Plants & Planet: Gigi Williams, ‘Dune’
  • The Beauty of Plants: Claire Carter, ‘Fallen Orchid Flowers’
  • The World of Fungi: Jay Birmingham, ‘Autumn Emergence’
  • Trees, Woods & Forests: Bernadette Benz, ‘Frosted Silver Birch’
  • Wildflower Landscapes: Mark Bauer, ‘Heather and Bracken’
  • Wildlife in the Garden: Gianluca Benini, ‘Cinciarella’

IGPOTY regularly partners with UNESCO world heritage sites, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Blenheim Palace. The next competition is due to open in February. To learn more, visit the IGPOTY website.

Cover image © Julie Pigula, IGPOTY 16

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