This spring the Wildflower Center continued its popular photography contest — held for the first time in 2010. More than 1,500 photographers entered 5,000 photographs in five categories: Botanical, Landscape, People with Wildflowers and two new categories Black and White and Under 18. The Botanical category reaped the most entries with half of the contest's entries overall — or the same total number of entries across all categories as in 2010. This year's contest was held in partnership with Texas Highways: The Travel Magazine of Texas.
All summer long judges struggled to select the best from thousands of diverse, fascinating and technically proficient photographs. The winning photographs and runners-up are on display in the Center's McDermott Learning Center from November 5 through 27.
The winners were chosen for composition, adherence to technical guidelines and sheer beauty. The rules required that subjects be North American native plants but still rule-following entries came from as far as India by knowledgeable amateurs as well as seasoned professionals.
In all five categories — Landscape, Botanical, Black and White, People with Wildflowers and Under 18 — we were wowed by the variety of content and the high quality of the entries. Certain things about this year's contest thrilled us: like that entries really were of plants across the country and not just Texas where we live. This confirms for us that awareness of the Wildflower Center's work continues to grow outside of Texas and that people value what our co-founder Lady Bird Johnson said about native plants: that they help make Georgia look like Georgia and Texas like Texas.
We are already planning for next year’s contest. You might see new and different categories. We extend our thanks to everyone who took the time to enter and congratulate our nine winners. Our six judges had their work cut out for them: This was a very competitive process. We commend all of you who entered.
First-place winners will receive a commemorative bowl handcrafted from native Texas mesquite by Curtis Alston Laudermilk of Bryan, Texas.
And the winners are: