Award-Winning Photos Reveal Gardens’ Hidden Beauty

“Photonic Bliss V” / Highly Commended - Macro Art
Photo: Peter Sabol (IGPOTY)

Even the smallest forms of nature can evoke feelings of grandeur. That’s why the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew outside London helps host the annual International Garden Photographer of the Year Award with Garden World Images Ltd.

They announced their macro art winners over the weekend. Macro photography zooms in on super small things (like bugs!) to showcase them in great detail we often miss with the human eye.


The award-winning pictures come from photographers across the world, from the U.S. to Spain. The first prize winner, however, hails from Croatia. The work of Petar Sabol, “Mayflies,” will be featured in an exhibit at Kew come February 2019. The photo shows two mayflies chilling on a poppy that has yet to bloom.

“Aside from the beautiful, uplifting lighting, it is the composition which has really elevated this image,” the judges wrote, per a press release. “The gentle curve of the Papaver (poppy) coupled with the slope of the two Mayfly tails work together to form a harmony of shape and structure, from both animal and botanical elements.”

Other winning images highlight the stunning colors of nature from the pinks and greens of a flower to the deep magenta and green contrasts in a leaf. 

The competition began in 2007 as a way to reward photographers who capture the magic that hides in gardens and lurks within the veins of plants. It continues today, bringing forth jumping spiders and butterflies alike. Every garden has something to offer.

“Mayflies” / 1st Place - Macro Art
Photo: Petar Sabol (IGPOTY)
“Bodhi Leaf” / Finalist - Macro Art
Photo: Lotte Grønkjær-Funch (IGPOTY)
“Poppy” / Commended - Macro Art
Photo: Jane Dibnah (IGPOTY)
“Dancing Matches” / Commended - Macro Art
Photo: Aleksander Ivanov (IGPOTY)
“Green Apple” / Highly Commended - Macro Art
Photo: Zhang Lihua (IGPOTY)
“Jumping Spider” / Finalist - Macro Art
Photo: Richard Kubica (IGPOTY)

Senior staff writer, Earther. The one who "pulls the race card" in the name of environmental justice. You dig?

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