Picture This Photo Contest Winners – November 2009

– Posted in: Garden Photography


With 82 entries, our judge, Josh McCullough of PhytoPhoto, had a bear of a job to go through each photo at least once before narrowing it down to the semi-finalists and then the finalists.

Without further ado, here are Josh’s comments and picks:

“First, I just have to give a big thanks. As I linger over this strange family of images brought together by purpose and chance for me to digest along with my holiday meal, I am imbued once again with a desire to give thanks. Thanks for all the entries, especially first time entries, for everyone’s appreciation of the theme and for the invitation into all of your thoughts in how you see and interpret this idea. There are so many great images this time around and quite a crafty approach to the subject by many of you. Lovely. Thanks, thanks, thanks.

A few to touch upon: the unbelievably romantic, nostalgic work at ThingsILove-Marmee for both the quality and quantity of thought that went into the lines theme. Duly impressed. It is often difficult as a commercial photographer to come back to the office with 300 or 500 or more images and try to decipher which 3 or 5 make the cut. Your fences series clearly shows that struggle. And in the same old-timey vein the fences at LifeInSugarHollow are simply lovely. Wow!

And a lot of you *tried* to  enter multiple shots but Rose Notes is the only one to create a composite image! Very nice. And at MacGardens among others, it was fun to see the thought process behind other images that did not make the cut. Climatic humor got me at NotSoAngryRedHead:


As the entries built up, I pulled them into the Lightroom so I could compare them side by side.


secretnotebooks-EndOfLine.jpg-resizedAs I looked over the the large number of images (no, I am not coming to the End of my Rope, thank you very much), the sheer quality of a number of runners up became clear. I must give special mention to the very dreamy image at Pam Penick’s Digging  and to Jo at JocoPhoto for the great before and after. The poetry of work with zinnias at SecretNotebooksWildPages, as seen at right, is simply superb.

Some of the stories accompanying images were alone stunning, such as the old barn at Jean’s DigGrowCompost.  And if ever there was a good take on the End theme, then the final monocarpic catapult of agave bloom at CaribbeanGarden certainly is that!  The “row of honey locust trees and shadows against the wall suggested prisoners grimly facing a firing line” black and white at The Garden of Live Flowers (below) cannot be left without special mention. In fact there are simply too many to mention: yucca leaves, ice cardinal and campus ivy, oh my!

4096684403_4745c229fe-row of honey locusts

But, let me get down to the real meat of the matter. This is a game of apples to apples in the end. And amongst all the excellent work these are the images that caught and held my attention.

So, for the Silver Medal Awards, of which there are 3 this month:

Mr.Cakes-End of The Line-Muhly Grass.jpg-resized picture_this_silver[1]

MisterCakesPhotoAdventures work with lines gets a boost from both uses of the theme, an end of the season Muhly Grass in a very linear rich image. 

queen annes lace large bw color 800px 4809 picture_this_silver[1]

And nearly as strong linearly as well as more in keeping with the metaphoric End of the Line is the fine and creative partial black and white conversion of Queen Ann’s Lace from We Heart Yarn .

yucca sculpture close picture_this_silver[1]

The final of the Silver Medal Awards goes to Christine at  idoradesign for the deceptively simple autumnal leaf sculpture. Though it looks like Cordyline rather than Yucca, the image conveys a utilitarian End of the Line that both surprised and attracted me and the rich straw tones an almost perfect monochrome.

And the Gold Medal Award goes to:

TorontoGardens-End of The Line

picture_this_gold[1]The utterly glowing image of a single Hosta leaf by Helen at Toronto Gardens drew me like a moth to flame. Not only is the color vibrant but the parallel veins all lead your eyes to the focal point of both lightest and sharpest area of the field. Beautiful!”

AmaryllisCharasima-&-Talavera-Pot[1].jpg-HGC November Reward

Since we cannot send plant material outside of the United States, High Country Garden’s prize of  the beautiful Amaryllis Charasima and the stunning Talavera Pot has been chosen by Josh to go to WeHeartYarn. A big thank you goes to David Salman of High Country Gardens for having supplied the prizes since the inception of Picture This last spring.

And a huge thank you to Josh McCullough of PhytoPhoto for doing such a thorough and thoughtful judging of the multitude of entries this month. I hope you take the time to get onto Josh’s site. His work is outstanding!  We are delighted that he has become a member of our group of renowned judges: and yes Josh, I will be knocking on your door again.

To all of you who participated and offered the rest us of a feast for our eyes, thank you! It was wonderful to see new entries this month as well as those of you who continue to participate in the contest. You truly are offering gifts to the garden blogging community by sharing your photos. They are thought provoking, informative and inspirational.

If you want to check out the past months’ photos, here they are:

Native Plants – April
Containers – May
Roses – June
Flowering Trees – July
Down On Your Knees – August
Ornamental Grasses – September
Abundant Harvest – October
End Of The Line – November

We appreciate all of the comments and suggestions on our post asking for your feedback about the Picture This contest. We’re definitely going to continue this popular event, but we need some time to process all of the ideas we have, so we’re going to take a break at least for December and start again sometime after the new year. In the meantime, we’ll have another interactive column beginning that will keep you busy over the winter months; watch for details soon!

For all of the winners, if you need a downloaded attachment in order to add your winning badge to your site, please contact me at fransoringardendesigns@gmail.com And WeHeartYarn, please send me your mailing address so that High Country Gardens can get your prize sent to you as soon as possible.

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, 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, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at www.fransorin.com.

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Fran Sorin
26 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Lisa at Greenbow November 29, 2009, 7:04 am

Congrats to all the winners and those Honorable mentioned. What a difficult job to choose from such wonderful photos.

Susan November 29, 2009, 10:47 am

Thank you Josh for taking the time to judge this contest. Your choices were stunning.
Congrats to every winner
But we are all winners who listened to our creative side
…and it was fun

Pam/Digging November 29, 2009, 11:14 am

Congrats to the winners. Those are striking photos indeed. And thanks to Josh for his comments too.

Helen at Toronto Gardens November 29, 2009, 11:32 am

I’m absolutely blown away at having won, especially with so many gifted competitors! Thank you, thank you to GGW and to judge Josh McCullough (I love your photos) for the honour (proudly spelled the Canadian way!). Having grown the amaryllis ‘Charisma’ before, I will share the pleasure of WeHeartYarn vicariously. Thanks again for all the work you do to hold this contest. What a thrill… did I mention that?

Helen at Toronto Gardens November 29, 2009, 11:33 am

Oh, and in my joy I forgot to congratulate all the other winners. Amazing shots!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter November 29, 2009, 11:33 am

Congratulations to all the winners. This was such a cool theme and the entries were so varied, but all wonderful.

Susie November 29, 2009, 12:48 pm

Congrats to all the winners…so well deserved. I can’t imagine having the job of sorting through all of the fantastic, artistic & compelling photographs, great job Josh! It’s always such a pleasure to see everyone’s take on the subject, this one was especially varied.

healingmagichands November 29, 2009, 2:50 pm

Congratulations to the winners! All wonderful shots. I was totally amazed at the varied takes on this subject as I was visiting all the entries. Although it was surely a long task, it couldn’t have been boring to do, and thanks for your effort, comments and judgment.

Christine November 29, 2009, 5:55 pm

Wow, I am truly humbled to be among so many talented folks! Thank you so much (for selecting my image and correcting my plant ID) and congratulations to my fellow garden photographers!

Hostabuff November 29, 2009, 8:50 pm

This has been a fun first-time experience. Congratuations to all the winners. It was intersting to read the running commentary and to see all the pictures side-by-side. Thank you Josh McCullough for taking the time to judge this event!

Debra Lee Baldwin November 29, 2009, 9:19 pm

Did I miss something? Who took the gorgeous landscape shot at the top?

Teresa November 30, 2009, 12:00 am

congratulations to the winners! Your photos are wonderful and so true to the theme. Nice job!

Josh November 30, 2009, 2:26 am

Debra, that image at the top is one I sent Fran as part of a midmonth “update and re-inspire” post that never made it up. Guess she added it here. Sorry it is not watermarked but I am glad you like it.

Thanks again to everyone for a great contest and excellent work with the theme!

Layanee November 30, 2009, 10:27 am

What a lot of work that was for Josh…thanks for the contest and congrats to all the winners. The photos are fab!

Diane November 30, 2009, 10:45 am

Aw, thanks for the special mention! What a great set of photos, and congratulations to all the winners. I can’ wait to see what the next contest will be!

Tracey November 30, 2009, 10:50 am

What a lovely experience and even lovelier photographers!! Thank you, Josh, for taking on the task of judging this contest. A first time for me – what fun!! Congratulations to the winners – you have me inspired and your End of the Line photos speak so much to the theme.

Jean at Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog November 30, 2009, 11:03 am

That was one awesome job of judging! Before the contest ended I managed to visit quite a few of them but it looks like there were many I missed. So now I’ll be going back to see those. Congratulations to all the winners!

Brenna November 30, 2009, 6:57 pm

Wow! Congratulations to everyone who entered, and thanks to Josh for the thoughtful commentary. There’s a ton to be inspired by here, and it’s really exciting to see the diversity in interpretations of a seemingly simple theme.

Heirloom Gardener November 30, 2009, 9:02 pm

Congratulations–all the winners and runners-up are fantastic!

Nicole November 30, 2009, 9:35 pm

Congrats to everyone-this was a very fun and (obviously) thought provoking contest.

Lynn November 30, 2009, 10:07 pm

Congratulations to all the talent! It’s wonderful to see so many takes and inspirations. Josh, thanks for sharing your perspectives with us.

ryan November 30, 2009, 11:26 pm

Wow. Massive participation and a lot of great photos. The most open-ended theme, if I remember correctly. I guess garden blogger photographers like to get creative.

ryan November 30, 2009, 11:35 pm

Oops. That sounded like it might be sarcastic. I meant it was interesting that the most open-ended theme seems to have been the most popular. I’d be interested to see the poster-like image of all the photos (image 3) in a larger size if it was convenient.

Lynda December 1, 2009, 8:15 am

Congrats to all of the winners! Great photos.

We Heart Yarn/Gail December 3, 2009, 8:15 am

OMG! Thank you, thank you! I’m delighted beyond belief! Thank you Gardening Gone Wild and Josh for all your time and effort in hosting and judging all these lovely entries!

Congratulations to all the winners, and to Helen…I will gladly share vicariously or otherwise with you!! Awesome image of that Hosta leaf!!

m. heart January 12, 2010, 2:18 pm

Oh! Thank you! I am just getting back to reality after losing my mom to cancer on November 19, and to see your kind words about my zinnia photos makes my day. Thanks again!

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