We know you all want to see the results, so let’s jump right in to judge Joshua McCullough‘s comments:
“Let’s all give a big thanks to Gardening Gone Wild for continuing to hold the monthly Picture This contest! And equally important a big round of virtual applause to all the photographers who have heard the challenge and answered clearly with a beautiful set of image submissions. It is all the more noteworthy this month as there was very little veil of theme to hide behind- no “well, this is not my best shot ever but it does show green or harvest or endings very well”. It was your best image! At least as you saw and felt it that day. As I have been preparing submissions of my own for a contest, the International Garden Photographer of the Year put on by Kew and open to amateur and professional photographers alike, I know keenly how nearly impossible it feels to pick one. Thank you for sending yours.
It is lovely that Nan has put together a page showing all the entries side by side (here) so you can see them together at the same size.
Some stand outs deserve special mention.
The sunflower from John at MacGardens is complemented by a perfect out of focus upper field of gold. Macro shots are all about a complimentary background!
The glowing white on black peony from Joco at Serious Grouching is certainly arresting.
A pair of anole lizards resting on a brightly lit cast iron leaf by East Side Patch was sly and humorous.
I loved the moisture on the glass from Hannah at Qui Mal Y Pense. The soft but bright exposure reminded me of the axiom “don’t over dew it”!
The horizontally backlit amaryllis blossoms from Teresa at Gardening with Soule is a perfect execution of symmetry and shading with rich color and a nice complete darkness.
Now for the awards… three silver and the gold.
Mr. McGregor’s Daughter‘s placement of cool petals and warm stamens in her rendering of Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Ofuji Nishiki’ (‘Shimane Chojuraku’) is delicate and bold. The framing uses a “less is more” approach showing only a few petal edges and instead focusing on the rich detail from the flowers center and letting the mind fill in the rest. Perhaps a bit over sharpened to my tastes but it is crisp and wonderfully lit.
Scott at Rhone Street Gardens produced an image of outstanding quality in his black and white conversion of the jagged ranks of a Melianthus leaf. An excellent use of black and white in which the absence of color brings the textural nature of alternating light and dark to the forefront. Kudos!
Diana at Voice in the Garden places highly with a broad and complex landscape. I find the more elements competing for attention in an image the more difficult it is to pull off and this is quite simply well done. The statue and clipped hedge complete the foreground with balance and and exclamation point of a tall narrow conifer brings the eye into the distance to appreciate the fall color and a nicely faded treeline beyond. A bit of contrast and saturation adjustment would bring it to an even higher level.
And for the gold, an image that begged to be looked at again and again.
Forest at Casa Coniglio created a stunning image that shows a mastery of many elements of great photography in his capture of a honey bee on Provence lavender. The tack sharp field of focus on a moving subject is spot on and the soft colors lovely and not oversaturated even though the bee is rich and singular in its presence within the frame. A textbook use of the rule of thirds places not only the flower stem pleasingly but that lavender color also echoed in the opposing side with another vertical band suggesting more. Even lighting and just a suggestion of golden hour tones bring it all together. Congratulations! And again a big congratulations to everyone for thinking about your images so intently and putting yourself out there in sharing your best work. I think everyone wins having done that!”
Many thanks to all of you who participated in Picture This this month. And a special thank-you to Josh McCullough of PhytoPhoto for once again generously contributing his time and expertise to judge June’s Picture This. To see a gallery of all the photo entries for this month, click here. To check out all past Picture This contests, click here.