RHS Photographer and Young Photographer

Monday 8 December 2014

From detailed close-ups to striking shots of garden landscapes, this year’s finalists capture the beauty and diversity of the natural world

The hunt for the world’s best garden photographer of 2014 has come to an end as the UK’s leading gardening charity, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), announces the results of its annual photographic competition.

French photographer Alain Jouno has been named RHS Photographer of the Year by a panel of expert judges 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.

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 prestigious judging panel, comprising Clive Nichols and Andrew Lawson, two of the world's most highly esteemed flower and garden photographers, 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.

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Notes to editors

For more information please contact Hattie Sherwood in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3126 / 07761 917575 or email hattiesherwood@rhs.org.uk

For more information and to see the online image gallery, please visit www.rhs.org.uk/photocomp

All finalists’ images are available to download at www.rhs.photoshelter.com

Category winners

Plants – Plant portraits that show the plant, tree or shrub as a whole or near whole entity.
• Grasses in morning dew by Don Rice from Carbondale, Illinois, USA

Abstracts and Details – This could be a close-up of a plant or an abstract detail from a garden.
• Chrysanthemum by Gynelle Leon from London

Celebrating Gardens – Photographs of gardens, garden views or people enjoying gardens.
• Matin d'hiver embrumé au Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne by Alain Jouno from Le Chatellier, Brittany, France

Seasons – Photographs illustrating the different seasons of the year.
• Winter at Wisley by Sarah Longes from West Byfleet, Surrey

Wildlife – Photographs of insects, birds and creatures found wild in the garden throughout the year.
• Glimmer by Mateusz Piesiak from Wroclaw, Poland

Young Photographer (age 11–17) – A maximum of three photos can be entered depicting anything garden related that catches your eye.
• Crow in flight by Catherine Sim from Glasgow, Scotland

Children’s Photographer (under 11) – A maximum of three photos can be entered depicting anything that interests you in your garden.
• Leaf canopy by Lara Cresswell from Arundel, West Sussex


RHS Photographer of the Year £2,000
RHS Young Photographer of the Year £500 Wex Photographic vouchers

Adult category winners
First prize £500 and a year’s RHS Gift membership
Second prize £250
Third prize £150

Children (under 11) and Young Photographers (11–17) category winners
First prize £150 Wex Photographic vouchers
Second prize £75 Wex Photographic vouchers
Third prize £50 Wex Photographic vouchers

We are grateful to Wex Photographic for once again supporting the prizes for the under-18s categories in the RHS Photographic Competition.

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 210 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join.

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879 / SC038262


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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262