The Royal Horticultural Society used to have a Botanical Photography Show. What they now have is called a Portfolio Photography Show - and I'll comment more on what this means below.
This year the Show includes 19 exhibits - from submissions in 2020 and 2021 - in Gallery 3 - which is the smallest gallery at what's this year being called the RHS London Botanical Art and Photography Show 2021 at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea.
Exhibits have been awarded medals and you can read who got what in the Portfolio Photography Awards list (155kb pdf)
Those winning Gold Medals and the Best Exhibit in summary are:
This collection of work looks closely at bits of debris and foraged plants from the Sonoran Desert and the forests and meadows of western Massachusetts — two distinct landscapes I have inhabited for most of my life. ....the objects photographed here are diminutive, their scale has been dramatically enhanced to suggest their echos within a larger system, as well as their monumental significance in my own history.
Shelley Lawrence Kirkwood work and life is divided between Arizona and New England and always been oriented around nature. Foraging has for many years, been central to her art practice. She has a Master of Fine Arts, Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ and a Bachelor of Arts, Photography, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. It shows.
I liked this exhibit and thought it both very worthy of a Gold Medal but also the Best in Show.
Jo de Banzie has a MA Photojournalism & Documentary Photography (Distinction) from the London College of Communication (UAL) and she has a Fellowship British Institute of Professional Photographers (BIPP) and a Fellowship The Master Photographers Association (MPA). She seems to have become interested in photographing gardens.
The photographs were shot using a large format camera and the wet colloidal process.
Verges on the too much aesthetic / fine art and too little horticulture for me.
To create her photographs, Francesca uses an improvised technique of camera-less photography using the flatbed scanner attached to her computer as a lens.
Francesca Wilkinson - ‘Full Circle – Studies of Cyclamen coum and Cyclamen hederifolium’.
Francesca graduated from the MA Photography course at the University for the Creative Arts with Distinction in 2013 as describers herself as a botanical photo artist. She's currently studying towards a BA(Hons) in Environmental Studies.
I just found it very difficult to see these plants. They look much better - and much clearer - on her website viewed using a high quality screen than they did in the Gallery the printed out. Mind you the light in the gallery is not great!
I really don't see what is improvised about her technique - it's been much used by others wanting to create images of plants and even I've used the black velvet scanning technique! Others have used a scanner for plants to much better effect.
I simply couldn't understand how you can be awarded a Gold Medal when your labels don't indicate which plant is which. She at least identified the plants in her main text - but not on the labels. However I'm suspicious that she actually doesn't know which is which - since it's not an editing issue as the website does not say either!
RHS Portfolio Photography
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