There is no doubt that this particular period of our lives for many Australians is going to look very different from our ‘normal’. As many finds themselves in varying degrees of, shall we say a ‘slow-down’ (as other terms are joyfully overused in mainstream media), we may find pockets of time to re-explore past hobbies, things we ‘used to’ have time for, or may even be looking for new recreational fun, that really, you don’t need to leave your house for.
Winter in gardens is still a busy time out in nature, and with spring just on the horizon, the time to dust off those camera lenses and get out in the garden is now.
If you’ve ever wanted a good excuse to have a crack at garden and nature photography, we’ve got a whopping list below of some excellent photography competitions, whether you’re a pro with multiple lenses, or you’ve got an old model iPhone.
Take something that’s magical and want to share it with us? Tag us and tell us about it! @australiangardencouncil
The Nature Conservancy Australia - Australia wide
Entries close TBA. Opens 1st August, 2021
Starts on August 1. Sign up early to get the goods before anyone else. Their website also has great tips from their own photographers and a heap of inspiration to get you started.
Garden Clubs Australia Annual Photo Competition - Australia wide
Entries close 1st October, 2021
In its 15th year, winners of this competition get publication in the Garden Clubs Australia Autumn issue magazine, in 2022. In addition, their website is full of great information and an excellent garden community. One to explore!
City of Charles Sturt Garden Competition - Residents CCS, SA
Entries close 27th August, 2021
An excellent community garden photo comp that has 11 garden categories, food and verge gardens included, as well as our favourite, “Great Garden Citizen”.
Flowers in Focus amateur photography competition 2021 - WA residents
Entries close 30th September, 2021
Possibly the luckiest residents of all Australia, those who are near the SW of WA live right near one of the world's 34 global biodiversity hotspots. And important note for this competition: it’s all about the plants! Entries must be of native Western Australian plants or wildflowers, with or without people, animals or insects. Entries including exotic plants, e.g. roses and proteas, will not be accepted.
Friends of the Australian National Botanical Gardens - ANBG, ACT | School students only
Entries close 24th September, 2021
A great one for primary and secondary schools in Canberra, this competition is all about the ANBG in Canberra. Some fun categories include monochrome and altered reality!
Alpine Garden Society Photographic Competition - Alpine Garden Society Members Only
Entries close 24th December, 2021
Australia may have only a small alpine region, but alpine plants often find themselves in our gardens and in our pots! For Alpine Garden Society members (a UK organisation with international membership) there are great categories to capture your most beloved plants (even if you’re not knee deep in snow!).
The Heritage SnAps 2021 Photo Competition - SA residents and visitors
Entries close 15th October, 2021
There are 2,302 State heritage-listed places in South Australia, but not everyone knows about these places, why they are significant and where to find them. This competition celebrates them (and many of their glorious heritage gardens!) - find a full listing of them here.
Macarthur Nature Photography Competition - Macarthur residents, SW Sydney
Entries close 15th October, 2021
This competition is yet to open (mid September), so bookmark this website to come back to! Their website has links to previous winners; a great opportunity to get some inspiration.
Mobile Phone Awards - Global
Entries close 11th December, 2021
Landscapes, Nature and wildlife are just some of the categories in this (global) mobile photography competition! If you know how to use your phone camera, this is the competition for you! “With the MPA…phone photos reach fine art proportions” San Francisco Guardian
International Garden Photographer of the Year - Global
Entries close (for most) 31st October, 2021
The crème de la crème of garden photography, these awards are for the serious, the dedicated and the talented. We love the categories “wildlife in the garden”, “beauty of plants” and “beautiful gardens”. Even if you’re not slightly interested in photography, some of the works of art produced by this competition need to be seen to be believed.