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In the Media

 

Celebrating One of our Own - Annette Johnston Photographer

Tell us how your got into photography and the journey to photographic success:

I  was encouraged to take up photography by my husband (I think he may have moments of regret).

I learnt the basics taking photographs of our boys playing rugby, then moved on to cricket, before joining the local camera club, Tauranga Photographic Society where I hoped I would be able to find like-minded people and have an opportunity to improve my limited skills.  There I found passionate photographers with all sorts of photographic interests, and the rest as they say is history.

I photograph across a very wide gamut of subjects; travel, wildlife, landscape, architecture, sports (rugby, cricket, and hockey predominantly), dance to name but a few.  I am however recognised in New Zealand for my work photographing flowers.

What is the competition - how many entries and where does the competition stand in terms of photographic excellence. 

I entered the International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY), which is a competition based out of the very famous London Royal Botanic Gardens, (Kew Gardens.) This is the thirteenth year this competition has been held and attracted 23,000 entrants across several categories.   The award winners in each section have their work exhibited at Kew Gardens, prior to the total exhibition moving around the world.  Year 12 of the IGPOTY Exhibition was seen buy an excess of  five million viewers.

Additionally there is a large hard covered coffee table style book produced, which also sells worldwide.

What is the award that you won 

I was awarded the Royal Photographic Society Bronze Medal for the Open Portfolio.  In this instance a portfolio consisted of six images, the subject open so as long as it had a link to something botanic, or garden related (including people of gardens) it was acceptable.

Tell us about receiving notice of your success and the journey to London to receive you award. 

I entered the competition late last year, really on a whim.  A few months following my entry I received an email informing me that my portfolio had been shortlisted, and could I send by email full resolution images, plus answer some more information about my portfolio including what photographic techniques I had employed. 

I thought it was lovely to be shortlisted, but after having completed the requirements I thought very little about it, until I received an email in early December with the following confidential information: “Congratulations I can tell you that you have been awarded 3rd best overall Portfolio. This set of images will be exhibited at the IGPOTY 13 launch exhibition at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.”

 Tell us about your activities in London associated with the presentation event:

I travelled to London with my daughter Sarah.  This was her first trip to England, so we spent our few days there being tourists; visiting the traditional sights, and because she has spent her life involved with theatre and dance we managed to see three shows and a ballet at Covent garden.

 Who were the keynote speakers/presenters:

My award was presented by Dr Alan Hodgson APSS HonFRPS, the President of the Royal Photographic Society

Tell us about your winning photograph. How did you find out about the competition and how the photograph came about .

Very early on in my photographic journey I was presented with a book celebrating the first five years of the IGPOTY competitions.  This book was an inspiration, and I quietly harboured the dream that one day I would have an image in this very book…

My winning portfolio was a series of six images that I photographed in my own garden.  The series was titled, Beauty, that has Danced in my Garden.

My descriptor of the panel was:

This portfolio reflects a little of the beauty that has ‘danced’ in my garden over the past year.

Six dancing flowers; some just blooming, others in their prime, the rest faded and near spent. Each with just a little whimsy; one petal astray, a curl, a curve, individual soloists performing in the corps de ballet of my garden.

All the images were taken ‘in-situ’, although I confess to employing a little persuasion in terms of restraining intruding floral neighbours.

The images were processed to give uniformity, and a texture of my own creation added for the final homogeneity.

What does it mean to you to win such a prestigious award:

It has been wonderful to receive this recognition.  In true Annette fashion, I remained sceptical that it was in fact true, until the very moment I arrived at Kew Gardens and saw my images in the exhibition.    I think my photography is driven by a sense of framing and keeping moments of beauty.  With sports photography I love it when I manage to capture the moments of balance, poise and sheer elegance of a shot played to perfection, or a pass that is perfect.  This is what I look for across all genre, a perfectly balanced family photograph that keeps forever the relationship between people, or that tiny moment when a flower, all be it newly bloomed or near spent when looked at closely is an object of absolute intricate beauty.

What happens to the competition winning photographs 

The award winners in each section have their work exhibited at Kew Gardens, prior to the total exhibition moving around the world.  Year 12 of the IGPOTY Exhibition was seen buy an excess of  five million viewers.

Additionally there is a large hard covered coffee table style book produced, which also sells worldwide.

Where to from here for Annette Johnston from Heddfan Photography

I keep plodding along my journey, hopefully constantly learning new skills and generally honing my craft.  I am currently the President of Tauranga Photographic Society, and I hope that under my tenue we keep growing and improving as a group of passionate photographers.  I now take workshops on a variety of photographic topics, and co lead international photo tours.  It would be nice to sell some of my images, but for now I am content to just make them.

Examples of Annette's Work:

 

Virat Kohli


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