With September’s Picture This Photo Contest, we continue selecting the best of the best of our colleagues to judge what has quickly become a great place for budding and experienced photographers alike to share photos and in some cases, to be singled out as winners for the month. And so it should come as no suprise to any of you that Nan Ondra, our judge this month, has chosen ornamental grasses as the subject. Nan has written a widely read and highly respected book, Grasses: Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design. She is the ideal person to come up with the criteria upon which the photos will be judged, offer observations and select the winning photos. Nan is also the author of the recently published book, The Perennial Care Manual: A Plant by Plant Guide: What To Do And When To Do It, (as well as over a dozen other books), the co-creator and manager of GGW, a horticulturist, renowned gardener and can also be found writing on her own blog, Hayefield.
And the prize for this month? Our dear friend, David Salman at High Country Gardens, has selected a collection of ornamental grasses that will have your fall garden swaying in the breeze with texture, color and movement (photo and description to be posted soon).
“I’m both delighted and daunted to take on the role of judge for this month’s Picture This photo contest. Let’s be clear up front: I’m not a professional photographer, so I’m not going to be judging the rest of you on your technical brilliance. I’ve never taken my own camera off of the ‘auto’ setting since the day I unpacked it, and I don’t know an F-stop from a doorstop. So, those of you who have hesitated to enter before have no excuse this time. There’s no need to be embarrassed if your photography skills aren’t as advanced as you’d like.
So, what am I looking for? I guess the best answer is that I’ll know it when I see it. There are simply so many ways to capture the beauty of ornamental grasses, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. It might be a fabulous combination of a grass with one or more partners, or it might be a grouping of several grasses. It might be a mass planting in a landscape, or a grassy meadow. It might be an image of a grass from ground to tip, or a tight closeup of stems, flowers, or seedheads. It might be a shot with stunning backlighting, or with ice, snow, or dewdrops. Grasses have a such a magical way of making wind visible that I’d probably give bonus points to an image that can capture that, but it’s not a requirement. Anything from the grass family counts, so sedges, rushes, and true grasses are all fair game.
I can’t even begin to guess how many thousands (or maybe hundreds of thousands) of images I’ve reviewed over the last 19 years in garden publishing. The vast majority of them were very pretty and more than adequate for whatever book project they were submitted for. The thrill of the hunt was finding the images that really captured the essence of a plant, a combination, or a garden: the ones that instantly made me say ‘Yes- that’s it!’. And that’s how I’ll be approaching this month’s contest, looking for the image that tells me it’s The One.”
For those of you who are new to Picture This or just need a reminder on how it works, here’s the drill:
1. You’re allowed to submit one (1) photograph: add the photo to your blog or website and then link it back to September’s Picture This post. Any photos sent to one of our e-mail addresses or from your e-mail address will be excluded. Also, I know it’s difficult to choose your favorite photo but please don’t send in more than one entry.
2. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, September 22nd. Again, we won’t be accepting any entries after that time, no exceptions.
3. With the increasing number of entries each month, choosing just one gold medal and one silver medal has become increasingly difficult. So this month, we’re going to open the possibility of awarding multiple gold and silver medals, with one grand prize winner chosen from the pool of gold medal winners.
4. As always, please have fun when taking photos! Picture This was created so that all of you have a place where you can share photographs and hopefully learn how to hone some of your skills. Each month, more and more of you are participating in the contest, and we love it. Keep it up!
One final note: GGW’s Picture This has its own page on Facebook. Check out the Picture This page and become a fan to get contest updates and reminders.