Winners of the 2021 Ventura Botanical Gardens (VBG) In Bloom Photo Contest highlight the variety of colors, textures, wild visitors, views and other delights found in the continually expanding gardens above City Hall. Ten winners, “Judges’ Choice” were chosen by a panel of local photography professionals and three winners, “Peoples’ Choice” were chosen by open voting on the Ventura Botanical Gardens Facebook page.
Judges for the contest included photographer and instructor Phil Ranger, Dexter’s Camera owner and photographer Greg Montana, and architectural photographer Stephen Schafer (AKA Schåf), who specializes in HABS, HAER, HALS formats to support the preservation of architectural, engineering and landscape resources.
More than 120 photos from 68 entrants were placed into four categories— Botanical Detail, Color and Texture, Seen in the Garden, and View/Scenes. Judges chose winners in each category. No categories were used in open voting and selection was based on technical quality, composition, lighting, overall impression, and aesthetics among other things. Judges also awarded a “Best of Season” to Benjamin Mati for his Views/Scenes photo, which capture many elements of the Gardens in a single portrait.
Winners in the Judges’ Choice by category were:
Judy Layman (1st), Laura Dunbar (2nd), and Jacqueline Counter (3rd)
Color and Texture:
Ashley Brown (1st), Mayra Plascencia (2nd) and Erlich Rosenberg (3rd)
Seen in the Garden:
Nicole Horn (1st) and Benjamin Mati (2nd)
Benjamin Mati (1st)
Best of Season
Judy Layman (2nd)
Judges were impressed by the submissions and noted the overall artistic merit and technical quality of many of the photos. Facebook open voter choices were also strong runners up with the judges. Winners in the Peoples’ Choice were Matt Thompson (1st), Susie Jensen (2nd) and Cristine Le (3rd).
For the last four years, Nancy Kettner and Terri Stober organized the event. “Each year the number and quality of entries continue to grow. The images are rich in color and texture. The photographers do a wonderful job of capturing the beauty of the Gardens.” states Nancy Ketter, “ Terri Stober adds, “We are grateful to our judges for graciously donating their time and expertise to this fun event.”
The Ventura Botanical Gardens (VBG) is located at 567 S. Poli Street, Ventura, California. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to creating a botanical garden for the twenty-first century celebrating the Mediterranean climate regions. The setting is a world-class site with spectacular 360-degree views of the California coast, the Channel Islands and Ojai’s Topa Topa mountain range. VBG will continue to create new outdoor opportunities including training, research, and educational programs ranging from horticulture and botany to sustainability.