The submissions for Botanical were truly inspiring—reflecting significant talent, immense creativity and a true passion for plants. I could easily have filled twice as many galleries with outstanding photographs. Every image selected—especially those for the Vermont gallery exhibition—were not only stellar photographs of plants, but they had that special “something extra.” In particular, they captured the true spirit and character of the plants they featured. Although both groups include a mix of images photographed in the studio and in the landscape, diversity emerged as a natural theme for the online gallery—showing plants in a greater variety of environments.
There are many alternative and artistic processes presented here that reflect the unique creative approaches at our disposal today as photographers. This lends itself beautifully to conveying how plants make us feel and expressing our personal style. Yet, no matter how eyecatching or breathtaking, the selection still came down to whether or not the photograph conveyed the spirit of the plant or showed something unique about its character or relationship to the landscape. And for this reason, many traditional, or “straight,” photographs also rose to the top, reinforcing the underlying importance of a good eye.
Selecting photographs for a juried show and especially for awards, is always a subjective process, no matter how objective a juror tries to be. Every photograph in the gallery exhibition is a winner to me, each with its own reason for being so. And yet, there were several images that caught my eye and spoke to me in some special way every time I looked at the group, and these are my selections.
The Juror’s Award goes to Shelley Lipton for best capturing the spirit of a plant and reminding us why we love daisy-like flowers. The bold, bright and cheerful still-life composition perfectly suits this plant. It is an unexpected photo that delights and it is executed with great precision. The choice and placement of the flowers gives them personality and the use of light, shadow and color is stellar.
Along more classical botanical photography lines, the Director’s Award goes to Sheryl Ball for an exquisite blue poppy that absolutely flutters in the frame. I love the softness, mood and strong sense of gesture. It is a quiet image that draws you in and comes to life as you spend time with it. You expect the flower to fly away at any moment.
Honorable Mentions go to Kira Armstrong, Cesca Diebschlag, and Kylo-Patrick Hart for being magical in their own ways. Congratulations to everyone chosen for the gallery and online exhibitions, and thank you to every photographer who shared their favorite botanical photographs. I've been dreaming of flowers every night!
Lee Anne White
Call for Entries
Wild or cultivated, plants of all kinds help define a landscape, give it a sense of place, delight the senses, and connect us to the natural world.
For Botanical, we’re looking for images created in the landscape, garden or studio that capture the spirit and character of plants, as well as our intimate connection to the plant world. All capture methods and processes are welcome.
We are very pleased that Lee Anne White jury the exhibit. She will select approximately 35 images for exhibition in the Middlebury gallery, and 40 for our Online gallery. All 75 selected images will be promoted on social media, reproduced in the exhibition print catalog, and remain permanently on our website, with links to photographer’s URL.
Information about our printing service and free matting and framing here.
Banner image: Polly Whitehorn
Thumbnail: Maggie Yates
Click to enlarge image.
About the juror
“I create intimate portraits of place—the terrain, plants and indigenous elements that give a landscape character. I am drawn by a sense of mystery, quietude and emotional connection with place, and seek to reveal both the unexpected and overlooked in nature’s details.”
Lee Anne White is a fine art photographer whose work is rooted in the landscape. In addition to exhibiting and publishing her work, she teaches landscape, botanical and creativity workshops for Maine Media Workshops, Chicago Botanic Garden and Madeline Island School of the Arts, as well as on Amelia Island and in New Mexico. She has photographed and authored numerous books on landscape architecture and garden design, is the former editor-in-chief of Fine Gardening magazine, and has photographed feature stories for dozens of magazines including Garden Design, Better Homes and Gardens, Landscape Architecture and Sunset. Lee Anne earned a master’s degree in creative studies at the State University of New York/Buffalo State and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and commercial art at Brenau University.