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IGPOTY – Why I was not International Garden Photographer Of The Year

I find entering photographic competitions a double-edged sword.  My partner says that if I do not win I will be sad and think I have failed – not so.  I do believe there is a place for competitions.  For one the winners photographs are hugely inspiring and wild flowers always feature as a category in IGPOTY and give food for thought on how different photographers tackle a subject.

Judi Castille

Secondly it is rewarding for the critique provided.  this competition gives feedback and in my third year of entering, I was “long-listed”.  The ‘Well done” made my day. My little dark subject below taken on a rainy day made it to the first cut from over 18,000 entries.  I didnt make the 100 short-list, but I learnt why this one made it amongst the many, when my others never had.  Flower photography professionally is complex and follows all the rules of other photography – composition, colour, emotion. The photos I entered along this one I liked more, but this one got through.  Graphically it worked, composition worked, subject matter worked, but not chosen on the day – and that is usually judges personal choice.  Its a tough task viewing so many photos, so like applying for a job, the first cut will be based on impact – does the photo simply catch your eye.  After that its down to technicality, originality and strong impact across a larger judging panel. So I received no negatives, but know that it is a lot of luck at the end of the day and there were far better pictures than mine. I also like sombre photos, and I think this one was a little dark.  But who knows.

Moral – enter competitions, try to show your best work and cross those little fingers – one day I might just have my lucky day!

If you like to try your hand at a Food Photography Competition, Pinklady is a challenge and has categories for every conceivable image style.


All the photos on my blog are at a reduced pixel level, so if they do not appear as sharp as they should, this is why.  It saves space and loading times for the site. 

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