Catch the Photography bug!

Finalist and local photographer Graham Harris Graham is keen to encourage others to follow his lead and enter, it’s easy and is open to everyone anywhere in the world, there is no distinction drawn between professional and amateur photographers.
Graham will be on hand on Saturday 19th January, from 12:00 at the exhibition in Callendar House, to answer your queries, offer encouragement and tell us about his experience of entering the competition.

The competition runs from March to November each year, so there is plenty of time to practice, perfect your image or wait for just the right weather conditions, or your favourite plant to flower. But if you’d like some handy tips and encouragement, then drop into the gallery on Saturday, there’s no need to book as the event will be quite informal and friendly.

Run in association with Kew Gardens, the annual International Garden Photographer of the Year is the world's premier competition and exhibition specialising in garden, plant, flower and botanical photography. Now entering the seventh year, the competition will begin accepting entries in March, with a deadline in November. The accolade of International Garden Photographer of the Year, and a £5000 cash prize, will be awarded to the overall winner in March 2014.

The main exhibition is held annually at Kew, with a rolling programme of touring exhibitions in the UK and all over the world.
There are eight categories to enter and a special section for people under 16 years of age. There is a fee for entering the competition which helps to cover the expense of mounting and touring the exhibition (under 16s can enter for free).

Using the rich natural, cultural & ancient built heritage of Scotland, Graham Harris Graham, a native of Glasgow, creates luxurious, large scale, archival images in B&W and colour. His passion for the open, mountainous, highland environment started at an early age but his awareness of the country's rich cultural & built heritage came later in life. Inspired by wall sized, photographic murals he came across while living in Nevada, USA, he returned to Scotland in 2009 with an ambition to develop his own work using as a source, the vast wealth of unique visual cues from right across the country. He is entirely self-taught and spends much of his time anticipating those rare, transient moments when subject, composition & exceptional light, often at the mercy of Scotland's notorious weather, converge improbably to reveal a scene of special fascination.

Many of his award winning images have been created using subject matter frequently found within just a few miles from his house when he lived in the Falkirk area proving that even the fringes of the industrialised central belt can provide surprisingly successful opportunities. He says, “my objective is not to polarise opinions or attempt to capture the imagination of everyone but rather facilitate a pleasurable, valuable & emotional response in those that seek it. Art is invariably an aesthetic, a philosophy of beauty & taste, which is expressed visually or audibly and either temporarily or permanently. And while predicting specific personal triggers within an audience is challenging, perhaps the clues are in the images themselves.”

At the end of 2012, he withdrew from managing a global team of Lean Six Sigma experts out of Turkey to concentrate full time on developing his photographic business. At the end of January, a new 1,200 sq ft gallery will open in his converted steading in Stanley, Perthshire. And final planning is being made to tour Tennessee, Illinois, Texas, Kentucky & Virginia during the summer months to exhibit his work.

As a finalist in the ‘4 Seasons: Texture’ category, his stunning photo “Leaf & pebbles” is on display at Callendar House. Photographed in his garden in South Alloa, this deeply saturated, blood red colour of the maple leaf resting on a bed of river stones, exemplifies the spirit of garden photography.

And of course, you don’t even have to have your own garden! There are plenty of opportunities for garden photography, whether in a friend’s garden or even a public garden or park. Callendar Park and the Cultivating Earth Garden are both open all year for you to capture on film, and the Helix will be opening during the summer 2013 – the opportunities locally are plentiful.

The International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition is on display at Callendar House, Falkirk, until Saturday 19th January. Admission is free and the House is open daily, Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. Graham Harris Graham will be at the exhibition on Saturday 19th January 11am – 12pm.  

Published on Wednesday, 16th January 2013

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