Spring Photo Contest Winners

– Posted in: Garden Photography

The entries are in and we have a winner !

Gardening Gone Wild - Picture This Contest final entries *with suggestions* June 10, 2016

Gardening Gone Wild – Picture This Contest 1st Prize from Grace at eTilth

picture_this_gold1.gifCongratulations to Grace at eTilth for the photo of Erythroniums tucked by this urn in the Dunn Garden in Seattle.

As a new feature for our contest,  have put all the entries into a flickr Album and offered critiques of each, showing my before and after suggestions for each photo.

As is so often the case during my workshop critiques, the biggest suggestion is to make a tighter composition with less wasted space – a full, well constructed composition is most important to getting a good photo and a prize.

I really liked how the urn filled out the upper corner of the winning image from Grace’s image how the urn gave a good sense of scale to the fawn lilies.

The Silver Award winner went to Laura at Gravy Lessons for this great capture of a dandelion seed “arrow”.

Gardening Gone Wild - Picture This Contest final entries *with suggestions* June 10, 2016

picture_this_silver1_thumb.gifGreat eye for detail Laura ! Filling the frame with the design makes a full composition.  In the critique image, found in the contestant’s gallery, I straighten the arrow and added some extra contrast to emphasize the design.

The photo that gave me the best sense of spring came from Jude, who entered the contest without a blog to visit.  But the contest is about spring after all, and these flowering cherry trees from her visit to Japan are the quintessential spring photo.  Judges really like it when a photo is right on target for the contest, so she gets an Editor’s Choice, Honorable Mention.

Gardening Gone Wild - Picture This Contest final entries *with suggestions* June 10, 2016

picture_this_editors_choiceI am sure Jude won’t mind me showing my critique here for others to learn what I look for.  Like the other winners, this photo gives a special sense of the photographer’s eye.  I feel I am seeing something unique.

I would have cropped tighter to emphasize the lines of the branches and I would brighten the scene.  Even though it is clearly an overcast day with raindrops, I think I would open up the image to be more cheery and springlike.


As in all the suggestions I make in the contestant’s gallery, these are my own suggestions and there is really no right or wrong in artistic interpretation.  I do hope you all will check out the gallery and my critique.  It is what I do in my own workshops and students seem to really like learning from the work of others.

And it is fun to see the blog posts that provided the images.  I hope you will visit these blogs to see more spring gardens, now that it is almost summer.

Alexandra at The middle size garden

Jenn at  Victory or Death! . . . in the Garden

Lynn at  Mama Zukes Photo Adventures

Jan at  Form and Foliage

Kate at K Walsh Photography

For any contestant who reviews my critique and wants a free copy of my iBook, Composition 101, let me know here in a comment.  My iBooks are single article excerpts from the eBooks, a quick lesson and Compoistion is Lesson 1.

Thank you all !  Now be thinking summer pictures for the next contest.

Saxon Holt
Saxon Holt is the owner of PhotoBotanic.com, a garden picture resource for photographs, on-line workshops, and garden photography stories. An award winning photojournalist and Fellow of The Garden Writers Association with more than 25 garden books, he lives and gardens in Northern California. PhotoBotanic - Garden Photography online at www.photobotanic.com. https://photobotanic.com
Saxon Holt

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4 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Cathy June 11, 2015, 12:23 am

Such wonderful entries, each and every one. The critiques and “before” and “after” images are extremely helpful… that was the key thing that I felt was missing from the previous contests of years past. I have only one comment, and this could be purely the effect on my monitor, but I felt that the sunset was better with less vibrancy to the color…. it looked more “natural” to me. That said, this has been a most educational exercise! I hope I can participate in the next contest, now that my health issues have finally stabilized! Wahoo… cancer is officially in remission!

Professorroush June 11, 2015, 9:08 am

Saxon, I didn’t seen my entry on the Flicker page. Did you not receive it?


A critique would still be appreciated! Thanks.

Saxon Holt June 11, 2015, 10:05 am

Professor – I showed every entry I saw, including a couple that were submitted through the GGW Picure This Facebook page. I checked back comments on the site and don’t see anything, and as a regular here, I am sure your comment would not have gone to the spam folder. Sorry.

I did just look at the cobweb encrusted rainy Betty Boop rose you wanted to submit and will say, like most of my advice, you need to get closer. Compose your image around what inspired you to take it – not the rose itself but the raindrops on the leaves, where you have focused. I have added your photos to the Album.

Saxon Holt June 11, 2015, 10:07 am

Cathy – Glad to see you and even more glad to know you are better.

My corrections of the sunset, and all photos, are suggestions. Maybe I too that “enhancement” too far. Artistic license 🙂

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