Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Blooming good photo of Lake Tekapo lupins wins top international prize

Lupins at Tekapo. This photograph by British photographer Richard Bloom has won the International Garden Photographer of the Year award. Photo / Richard Bloom
Lupins at Tekapo. This photograph by British photographer Richard Bloom has won the International Garden Photographer of the Year award. Photo / Richard Bloom

A picture showcasing Lake Tekapo's well-known lupins has won a British photographer a prestigious international award.

Professional photographer Richard Bloom has been awarded the International Garden Photographer of the Year top prize with a shot taken in the South Island.

The International Garden Photographer of the Year is the world's premier competition and exhibition specialising in garden, plant, flower and botanical photography.

It is organised by Garden World Images and run in association with Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.

Mr Bloom's photograph, Tekapo Lupins, also won the Wildflower Landscape section of the competition.

The award-winning photographer said he took the winning shot just over a year ago at Christmas time.

He was driving from Christchurch to Tekapo when he noticed drifts of lupins growing wild by the roadside.

"The next day I rose before dawn, leaving my family asleep and drove out to one of the locations where there was a stream and masses of lupins flanking both banks of the river. A short hike along the stream and I'd found my spot," said Mr Bloom.

He said the mass of colourful lupins stretching into the distance, the stream leading the eye diagonally from the left to the centre of the image and the line of trees continuing round to the right, even the cloud formation leading the eye to the centre of the image made for a perfect composition.

"It was an incredible sight to behold and I was lucky to capture it on such a perfect day without anyone else around.

"It was definitely one of those moments when I knew I'd witnessed and captured something special."

Described by judges as an elegant symphony of plants and nature, a field of pastel-coloured lupins carpeting the land is framed by the sun-scorched foothills of the Mackenzie Country.

In his entry synopsis Mr Bloom wrote: "Early in summer the amazing landscape around Lake Tekapo was scattered with drifts of naturalised lupins which gave it an almost psychedelic, wonderful feel.

"The banks of this stream were bristling with masses of different-coloured lupins stretching toward the distant hills and out of shot to the west, giving the sense that they went on forever."

In awarding the supreme award to Mr Bloom's winning entry the judges said the picture was "totally immersive and a joy to behold".

"The eye is led to the horizon by the diagonals of the stream and the trees, with the cool blue notes in the foreground complemented by the warmth of the rising ground in the distance.

"The cobbles of the stream and endless lupins beautifully orchestrate the picture's structure and texture whilst the trees soften the scene, making this an elegant symphony of plants and nature."

Mr Bloom said he was delighted to take out the supreme prize. "A huge honour to win such a prestigious award," he wrote on Facebook.

- NZ Herald

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