A big thank you to all who entered and an ovation for your rose photos. Many of our 31 entrants submitted the full allotment of three photos, so I had close to 100 to judge—a daunting yet delightful task.
Our winner Tes seduced me with her tight shot of ‘Hot Cocoa’. I like the way the way sunlight shines through the water drops. Exquisite lighting also emphasizes the translucence of the petals and their felty texture. The lines draw the viewer into the center of the flower, and by illustrating the bloom’s intrinsic geometry, interpret the concept of “rose” in a fresh new way. Tes, take a bow!
Abby, from England, showed me a unusual rose I’d love to have in my own garden. She positioned the center of ‘Alfred Sisley’ in the upper quadrant of the photo rather than smack in the middle. This makes the composition dynamic; layers of frilly petals swirl downward like a Spanish dancer’s skirts. Splashes of color on the petals enhance the suggestion of motion and make this a photo worthy of framing—and forwarding. Soft lighting creates a dreamy mood and the butter-yellow in the flower’s interior makes it glow.
Jamie’s entry of a frog peering out from the petals of ‘Vanilla Perfume’ made me laugh. It’s one of those lucky shots where the wildlife hung around long enough for the gardener to grab a camera.
It’s tricky to photograph rose bushes in a landscape, so my hat’s off to Ellen Spector Platt for her shot of ‘New Dawn’ escaping her rooftop garden (complete with city skyline in the background). Notice the shadows on the ledge and the way the roses are backlit. Now, Ellen, tell us: Where were you standing when you took this?
I grow ‘Lady Banks’ and know how hard it is to photograph, so Randy’s portrait of this climber impressed me. Every petal is perfect. It’s a great composition, with good depth of field and fully opened flowers adjacent to lovely buds. His shots of ‘Peace’ and ‘New Dawn’ are terrific, too.
A challenge some entrants contended with is the way red, orange and deep pink hues can become oversaturated and garish, and make the flower indistinct. This may be a camera glitch or the result of Photoshopping. Other uh-ohs include poor depth of field, unfortunate light (manifested by white spots and black holes), and making the judge hunt high and low on a site for rose photos—or the right rose photos. And, it’s OK to crop photos to emphasize the subject—for example, I would have liked to see less of the black background in the photo of the yelllow rose below.
OK, now for a few kudos. They’re in no particular order; I’ve uploaded a few photos and hope you’ll visit the sites to see more.
Susie, first out of the starting gate, wowed me with a gorgeous photo of ‘Sally Holmes’. Her cluster of pale pink, yellow-centered single-petal roses beautifully includes coral buds.
Donna’s yummy shot of ‘Hot Cocoa’ shows the flower fully open and flaunting its rich blend of burgundy and mauve-pink.
Patient Gardener’s unnamed white rose is laced with cream, and the presentation is gorgeous, taken from the side, with soft light brightening the inner petals.
Evelyn’s photo of ‘Marilyn Monroe’ perfectly captures a pristine, delicate peach bloom. When I saw this, I immediately envisioned the bouquet of a virginal bride…though I suspect dear Marilyn wasn’t.
Meadowwood Garden’s memorable entry of a yellow rose is strongly lighted against a black background. The photo sings (and the rose looks real) thanks to a solo drop of dew. And speaking of dew, J. Neff’s ‘Strike It Rich’ is so encrusted with dew it appears sugared.
Leslie captured ‘Brandy’ perfectly in bud. Her shot of ‘French Perfume’ (above) shows its lovely red-white-and-cream coloration—a reminder that its petals are like photo-sensitive paper; the more sun they’re exposed to, the deeper the color.
One of the best landscape shots was Phil Oliver’s photo of a hybrid musk rose about to engulf a bench. He caught the rose at the right time—there’s nary a petal out of place.
Joanne’s love for David Austin roses shines through her photography; I could almost smell their perfume. Her shot of ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ shows it in every stage, from tight bud through fully blown.
Elizabeth Licata submitted one of the few roses-in-a-vase photos, showing red roses near curtains patterned with red flowers—a pleasing repetition not to mention a great idea. I also like her shot of the bush exploding with red roses up against a brick house. Elizabeth — who was contestant No. 27 — revitalized me with her cheery “this is fun” response. She as well as several others also thanked GGW for providing, via this contest, a good blog topic.
And, Joco…although the three photos you submitted were lovely, I swooned over others on the same page—especially the plateful of roses—which is creative and unusual. I enjoyed your posting, too—I could hear your British English.
Certain regional blogs so captivated me, I almost forgot my mission. Layanee gardens in misty Rhode Island, Dee Nash in Oklahoma, Nicole on an island in the Caribbean, Texas Deb in Austin, Heirloom Gardener in New Jersey, Pat cheerfully in Massachusetts, and Mr. McGregor’s Daughter — who calls her garden Squirrelhaven — in central Illinois. Ilona grows hundreds of rose varieties on her Southern farm; do check out her lovely shot of pink, cuplike ‘Paul Neyron’.
Last but not least, many thanks to the sources of the prize package. Campania International provided a Campania Amalfi Garland Lightweight Planter in Antique Terra Cotta; Organic Mechanics, a bag of their excellent Container Blend Potting Soil, and Waterstik, three Indoor Plant Moisture Sensors. I urge you to visit their websites as well.
Now, tell us…what do you think might make a good subject for future Picture This photo contests?