The RHS photographic competition winners 2014 have been announced.
Matin d'hiver embrumé au Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne by Alain Jouno
French photographer Alain Jouno has been named RHS Photographer of the Year for his evocative image of a foggy winter’s morning in the Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne, Brittany, winning the top prize of £2,000 and a year’s RHS Gift membership.
Crow in flight by Catherine Sim
For her image of a crow in flight, 17-year-old Catherine Sim from Glasgow is named RHS Young Photographer of the Year and receives £500 to spend on the Wex Photographic website.
The judging panel, comprising Clive Nichols, Andrew Lawson and Chris Young, Editor of The Garden (RHS magazine) were unanimous in their decision, choosing the winning images from thousands of entries from around the world.
Chris Young commented: “Alain’s brilliant image is more than the sum of its parts. The serendipity of the sunrise, the abstract sculptural forms, the dogs drinking the water and the mist beyond create an incredibly evocative image. The formal rectilinear shape of the pond contrasts well with the different tree and shrub forms in the garden. We also enjoyed the contrast of the ripples of water emanating from the dogs, and the shape those ripples created in the overall image. This is a well-composed photograph that truly reflects a moment in a garden’s time.”
Speaking about his achievement, Alain said: “It is a great honour to be crowned RHS Photographer of the Year 2014. It’s hard to believe I have won, because I am only a modest amateur photographer. I entered the competition to share the beauty of the Botanical Park of Haute Bretagne. I took this image one morning as the mist was rising and the sky was lit by the setting sun.”
The judges were particularly impressed by the extraordinary quality of images submitted by the budding young photographers under 18, with entries rivalling those in the adult categories, making it very difficult to choose a winner.
About Catherine’s winning image, Chris said: “Some images are evocative; some are artistic; and some stop you in your tracks. This image does all three. It is a beautifully captured moment, using the rule of thirds to strong effect. The balance between the black of the crow contrasting with the whites/greys of the sky and fence adds strong drama and contrast to this photograph. The slight curves to the wing tips also bring in movement and pace. It is a really super photograph.”
On receiving the award, Catherine said: “I spend a lot of my time taking photographs outdoors and when I saw last year’s entries I was inspired to enter the competition. I am very honoured to win such a prestigious award; it is a fantastic achievement for me. I am so passionate about photography, and getting recognition for something that I love doing is so rewarding and makes all those hours trying to get the perfect shot so worthwhile. It is definitely the highlight of my year. I am very proud of myself, and to have this achievement on my CV will hopefully help me to pursue my love of photography as a career in the future.”
The competition was open both to professional and amateur photographers, who were invited to submit images to any of the five adult categories – Plants, Abstracts and Details, Seasons, Celebrating Gardens, and Wildlife – or the two categories specifically for under-18s. The RHS Photographer of the Year, Alain Jouno and the RHS Young Photographer of the Year, Catherine Sim, were selected from the winning images from each of these categories for their overall artistry, creativity and technical excellence.