GGW Picture This Photo Contest for July 2010

– Posted in: Garden Photography

For the month of July, we are delighted to have a new judge joining us, Rich Pomerantz. Rich told me that he has been fascinated by photography since receiving a brownie camera for his seventh birthday.  His career includes work for White Flower Farm’s Catalogue, Garden Design, Organic Gardening,  Horticulture and other fine gardening publications. Rich’s clientele also includes book publishers, corporations, homeowners and garden designers.  A member of the Garden Writers Association, Rich has been teaching garden photography for several years at the New York Botanical Garden. He also conducts garden photography workshops at his studio in northwestern Connecticut as well as botanical gardens. You can check out Rich’s books titled Great Gardens of The Berkshires and Hudson River Valley Farms.

“Capturing the Intent of the Gardener can be a much tougher photographic assignment than to photograph a plant portrait or a combination planting, since it tends to require a broader view of the landscape.  Successful gardens tend to have some unifying principle, whether it be color, structure, formality, plant selection or something else. Find that principle in a garden and use your camera to create an image that conveys it through your eyes.

Look for a theme or design scheme. You can keep the entire scene sharp, or use selective focus or shoot through something, like a gate or doorway or even the branches of a tree to create a sense of putting the viewer into the scene.

Be selective in your view; taking in too many parts of a garden view frequently results in a cluttered photograph, or a photo with unwanted elements like utility poles, wires and hoses.

Look to see if the designer took her cues from the land, using the contours, rock outcroppings, existing water features or other natural aspects, and then use those elements in your image.  You can use a part of the garden to show the designer’s thinking, so don’t be overwhelmed trying to include the whole world in your photo!

I’ll judge entries based on application of the basics: good composition, effective use of light, leading lines, point of view, use of color and overall visual impact.  Above all I will look for images that interpret what the gardener has created, as opposed to just snapping an image of something, however beautiful it may be, that could exist anywhere.  Remember that sometimes the obvious angle isn’t the only angle. Walk around and see what else the place has to offer! ”


1.  You must have an active blog in order to participate. To be eligible for judging, you need to send us both a direct link to the image and a link to the blog post that includes the image.

PLEASE NOTE: if you leave us only a link to your post with a notation telling us where the photo is within the post, your entry will not be admitted into the contest.

2. Your photo must be able to be copied from your site. That makes it possible for us to collect all the entries in one place for easier judging.

3. Entered photos should be approximately 500 pixels on the long side. If you do not know how to change the size of a picture, see Resizing Your Images. Note: This rule is no longer in effect.

4. The deadline for entries is 11:59 PM Eastern time on Wednesday, July 21, 2010.

If your image does not appear in the gallery within 12 hours of the time you leave your links, please review your entry to make sure it meets all of the rules. If you have made a mistake in your entry, you may re-enter before the cutoff time and date.

For those of you who haven’t yet participated in the contest, this month is a great time to go for it.  Don’t sit on the sidelines observing. Jump in with an entry…and have a blast!

All of the prior entries from Picture This contests for the past 14 months are compiled as an informal gallery of gardening subjects.  To check out the past themes, click on GGW Picture This Photo Contest.

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the recently published 10th Anniversary Edition of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book".  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, and CBS Radio New correspondent.

Click on Fran's website,, to sign up to receive a free gift: "The 38 Creative Tips That Are Preventing You From Leading A Richer Life" and to read articles on creativity, well-being, gardening, and spirituality.  

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Fran Sorin

31 Comments… add one

Leave a Comment

bangchik July 1, 2010, 8:03 am

” Capturing the Intent of the Gardener” is an interesting message… huh. Is it open to everyone?..

It is open to anyone with an active blog. You can find the entry rules at the bottom of the post.

Gatsbys Gardens July 1, 2010, 11:02 am

I have a blogger set-up that does not keep the pictures with the page. How would I be able to enter this?


You can get a direct link to a photo in your blog post by right-clicking on it and then “Copy Link Location” or whatever similar command your browser uses. Check the comments section of this post to see what last month’s entries looked like.

joco July 2, 2010, 7:23 am

Good. Another tough assignement. I can see more sleepless nights coming on :-)

Matti July 2, 2010, 11:40 am

Love Rick Pomerantz work. Should be a good showing for him to select from. Good luck to all. Matti

Christopher C NC July 5, 2010, 11:27 pm
Robur July 7, 2010, 1:40 am

Image, demonstrating my intent, is here:

Explanatory post is here:

You may be able to benefit the environment, and yourselves, by doing this in your own garden too. A few of you might do this already.

Hannah July 7, 2010, 7:32 am

Nice assignment.
A picture I took this Spring.

Address of image:

Address of post:

Thank you for featuring last month’s picture.
And what a nice way to display our entries.

Jack Holloway July 10, 2010, 1:43 pm

It was interesting to think about my own designs and my own pictures and ask myself where the photographer has best served the designer. However this post from September 2009, where the text also looks at the way in which this is an arbour (an entrance or parlor) rather than a pergola (a roofed garden) anticipates the theme of this contest. The picture might not be brilliant, but I know how I battled to capture the curve and thrust of this structure, and this picture does it best. The shape of the arbour is like a rectangular biscuit with a bite taken out of one entire long side. Below that curve lies a rose garden, entered through a gate where the biscuit is at its thinnest in the middle. The photograph can be found here:
and the post here:
Jack Holloway, Sequoia Gardens

healingmagichands July 12, 2010, 1:24 pm

After a lot of contemplation, I decided that I would feature the vegetable garden at The Havens in this contest rather than the flower gardens. The photo is here:

The post, which covers the evolution of the garden over the past 15 years, is here:

I hope you all enjoy the post and photos as much as I had making them.

joco July 19, 2010, 9:51 am

As usual, the assignment made me think. I hadn’t realized why our garden is the way it is.
Thanks for that to both the judges and Nan and Fran.

The photograph is here:

The matching post is here:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter July 19, 2010, 3:24 pm

I had to go all the way to Buffalo to get this picture. Clearly, my own garden is vague and lacking intent.


Swimray July 20, 2010, 3:34 pm

This reminded me of a very tough photo last year. It was an early morning, into-the-sun shot, trying to capture the rigid formalist design created by plants, of a large space without a wide enough angle.



Annie in Austin July 20, 2010, 6:17 pm

What the heck – the photos in the gallery are art while mine is pulp journalism, but your contest came in July, a good month for an Austin gardener to think about the Large Questions.

Here’s the Blog Post:

Here is the photo:,+Intent+of+Gardener+1.jpg


Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Megan July 20, 2010, 8:24 pm

I never realized how many close up shots I take until searching around for a picture that fit the bill.
This was taken at Ruth Bancroft Garden back in late March.
Picture link:

Blog link:

Annie in Austin July 20, 2010, 10:48 pm

What! The 500 pixel rule is no longer in effect? When did that happen?

May I please replace my small photo with this larger version that was included in the post?,+7,20,+Annieinaustin+full.jpg

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Teresa July 21, 2010, 12:18 am

You can copy my photo from the entry address . I have a blog protector activated. Or you can click on the blog post entry photo to enlarge it, then it will allow the right click function on the enlarged photo. Sorry if that’s a pain.

Heather's Garden July 21, 2010, 12:24 am

Like Mr. McGregor’s Daughter I had to go to Buffalo to find my entry. I kept this month’s assignment in mind as I visited the Japanese Garden and I’m pleased with the photo I decided to enter. Even if it’s not what Rich is looking for, it’s a wonderful memory for me.



Heather's Garden July 21, 2010, 12:57 am

Just saw the post about the updated rules. Could you please use this link to the full size photo instead:

Melody July 21, 2010, 1:19 am

Thanks GGW, and especially Judge Rich for helping me to stretch more than I would on my own. :)

The photo itself:

The blog post:

hannah July 21, 2010, 3:54 am

Don’t quite understand what is going on. Just came for a quiet view over my morning coffee :-)

If required, my larger image is at:

or click on the picture in the new post at

dana July 21, 2010, 6:08 am

Never done this before here.
A friend said I should have a go, so here I am.
My blogpost address is

The photo I chose to submit is at:

Nice gallery to look through.

Town Mouse July 21, 2010, 9:04 am

Why thank you! Sure, I’ll submit my photo a tad larger then.

The post is the same:

And here’s the photo (same photo, 1024 on longest side):

Robur July 21, 2010, 10:36 am

Here’s a slightly enlarged image of my entry:

Just a case of changing the ‘s640’ to ‘s1600’, I think.

And the original post is here:

John July 21, 2010, 2:47 pm

Thanks again for hosting this photo contest.

Here is the blog post.

and here is the image address

Elephant's Eye July 21, 2010, 4:37 pm

On the wrong side of the world time-wise here. But here is a link to the first post

where I used a LARGER picture

Glad to see more entries in now!