Following almost 10,000 submissions the winners of the 2022 RHS Photographic competition have been selected, with entries exploring a variety of themes and concepts across nine categories. The annual competition hopes to inspire all-ages to explore photography, regardless of experience and take a creative look at their local plants and wildlife. With gardening increasing in popularity and environmental issues taking centre stage in all our lives, learning to embrace and find beauty in our local environments becomes ever more relevant.
Richard Bloom, award-winning photographer and competition judge said
: ‘This year’s competition has seen an incredibly diverse and outstanding range of imagery from deeply considered intricate and labour intensive images to instinctive decisive moment captures and everything in between. There are many beautiful, clever and highly creative photographs, some strange and unusual and some surprisingly moving.’
Sanjay Jani’s ‘Saffron Sunset’ photograph wins for both the Plants Category and Overall Adult winner, capturing crocuses growing alongside a concrete office wall in Iowa, USA. As we increasingly understand how closely plants and natural environments can intertwine with urban life, the image is a celebration of the persistence of plant-life in unexpected places.
Tom Howard, competition judge and editor of The Garden magazine
: ‘Sanjay Jani’s winning image in the Plant category stopped us all in our tracks. It’s simple, but extremely well executed, and the photographer perfectly captures those very early days of spring we all long for at a certain time of year.’
Winning Overall Young Winner, Alex Chapman’s mind-bending photograph ‘World’s Colliding’, features a pond reflection captured at RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Essex, blending the surface and water environments in a scene reminiscent of MC Escher’s ‘Three Worlds’ series. Taken with an iPhone XR, Alex’s work proves that beautiful photography can be captured even without high-tech equipment.
Nicola Stocken, photographer, garden writer and competition judge: ‘There were so many excellent entries in the Under 18s and Under 11s categories which was particularly encouraging. Alex Chapman, the Overall Young Winner’s image, immediately jumped out for a rare spontaneity, a real conversation piece: was it serendipity or the result of patience and planning?’
Other highlights from the winning categories include Marek Mierzejewski’s stunning macro photography of Equisetum arvense
, captured near Gdansk, Poland and Sara Bishop’s beautiful summer meadows photo taken at Bury St Edmunds for the Social Media Category.
The category winners will be available to view at the RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show 2022 at Saatchi Gallery, open from 9th
April, or online at rhs.org.uk/photocomp.