What a wonderful experience this was—spending time surrounded by beautiful, creative, expressive and often surprising photographs of the plants that fill your world and the unique ways in which you see them, connect with them and share them with others.
And what a challenging experience it was. With a large number of entries, first impressions were important, but the selected photographs had staying power, as well. They not only captured my gaze and sense of curiosity, but kept me coming back. One of the greatest challenges in photographing plants and flowers is getting beyond the beauty of the subject to create a photograph that is powerful in its own right. And yet, mastery of composition, form, lighting and exposure isn’t enough either. I sought images that had that something extra—that expressed a mood, captured a moment in time, told a story or showcased the unique character of a plant. Some are elegant, others are joyful, many are tender. Some are powerful in their simplicity; others proved their ability to wrangle nature’s chaos into an organized composition. Some are very quiet; others are an explosion of color. They run the gamut from romantic to scientific to artistic to cultural. The sheer diversity drove much of my decision making when it came to selecting images for the two galleries.
In choosing award winners, I returned to the call for entry. The photographs had to put the plants first—to capture their spirit or unique characteristics; to show how they help create a sense of place; or to embody the deep, emotional connections we have with them.
Thank you to all for sharing your work, your world, our world. There is so much to be said for slowing down and taking a closer look at the beauty around us.
— Lee Anne White
Juror’s Award, Kari Herrer—This quiet still life will sneak up on you. There is beauty in its simplicity; mood created through lighting, composition and choice of props; and emotion evoked through a sense of gesture in the stem and the unexpected turn of the flower. It is both botanical and symbolic in nature, open to interpretation by all who pause and look deeply.
Director’s Award, Deb Ehrens—Milkweed pods are a favorite of photographers, but frustratingly difficult to photograph. This photograph shows us with great clarity, beautiful lighting and finely textured detail all the reasons that make us want to try.
Leslie Gleim—An intimate view of tendrils doing what they do best, and what most of us miss when passing by plants.
Debra Van Swearingen—This image has such a powerful sense of place. It captures both a mood and moment—a treat for the eye and the soul.
Catherine Caddigan—A subtle use of layering and digital mastery that celebrates the maple leaf throughout its stages of fall transition.
Charlotte Watts—There is so much longing in this photograph. It reminds us not only of the relationship between water and plants, but of water and all life.
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 40 images for exhibition in the Middlebury gallery, and 40 for our Online gallery. All selected images will be published in the exhibit catalog.
Information about our printing service and free matting and framing here.
Banner image: Lee Anne White
Click images to enlarge.
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 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.