Congratulations are in order for Magdalena Wasiczek on being the overall winner of this year's International Garden Photographer of the Year competition. Wasiczek is a third-time winner of the competition! Having won previously in the 5th, 8th and now 15th editions of the annual competition.
The IGPOTY competition celebrates the genres of garden, plant, flower and botanical photography and is run in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London. The competition attracts up to 20,000 individual entries submitted from photographers all over the world.
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This year's winning image titled 'The Stardust' from Polish photographer Magdalena Wasiczek features an absolutely breathtaking shot of what is presumed to be a butterfly perched atop a stem of blue flowers, surrounded by cold-toned raindrop bokeh. The image won Wasiczek the title of overall winner in the context of being the best single image submitted into a main pay-to-enter category (Wildlife in the Garden).
The image was captured using a Fujifilm X-T3, paired with a Fujifilm 80mm macro lens, with settings of 1/1800sec shutter speed, f/4 aperture and an ISO of 320.
It may be worth mentioning that there is a fee for entering the IGPOTY competition to help cover administration expenses. This fee is £12 (approximately $16 / AU$ 22.50) for 4 single images, or £25 ( $34 / AU$47) for submitting a portfolio of 6 images. Rules state that you may enter as many portfolios as you wish for different categories, although portfolio photographs will not be judged individually but as part of six themed photographs.
Wasiczek shares that winning to her is always a surprise “Each time I win IGPOTY is a great surprise, these victories came in different periods of my photographic path, but I enjoyed it in the same way. Like a child! But of course - winning the top prize for the third time makes me feel like a champion of climbing Seven Summits.”
She continues; "I photographed this large white or cabbage white butterfly - Pieris brassicae, at rest on a flower head, the numerous raindrops have created a pleasing background bokeh resembling stardust. It's amazing how a few drops of water in the air can create a magical effect in a photo".
The main launch exhibition is usually held annually at the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens, expected to return this year on 05 Feb 2022 and run until 06 March 2022 following with a rolling programme of touring exhibitions in the UK and all over the world, pandemic permitting, with dates subject to change.
The exhibition will feature a selection of the higher placed winners across all main paid categories as well as exclusive winning images from the 'Captured at Kew 15' series, comprising only shots taken in the Royal Botanical Gardens.
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