Marcio Cabral of Brasilia, Brazil has today been named as International Garden Photographer of the Year at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.
Cabral is widely recognised as one of the top landscape photographers in the world and holds a world record for the largest underwater panorama.
The winning image from the Wildflower Landscapes category is entitled 'Cerrado Sunrise', and was shot in the vast ecological region known as the cerrado in Brazil.
“Marcio has captured a spectacular vision of plant life in the cerrado, displaying the beautiful flowers of Paepalanthus chiquitensis, stretching out on countless filaments towards the first light of the rising sun," said Tyrone McGlinchey, managing director of the International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY).
"As ecosystems such as the Brazilian cerrado are under threat, the image urges us all to document, understand and protect our vulnerable landscapes, with even greater passion.”
IGPOTY is recognised as the world’s most prestigious global competition for garden and plant photography. It is open to all ages, amateurs and professionals alike, with a Young Garden Photographer of the Year award for under 17's.
The exhibition will embark on a worldwide tour which in 2018 includes the UK Germany, Gibraltar, Portugal and The Netherlands for 2018.
Here, we preview the category winners - and discover what each has to say about their striking work.
'Cerrado Sunrise', Overall Winner
Marcio Cabral, Alto Paraíso de Goiás, Goiás, Brazil
"The Paepalanthus chiquitensis is a special plant, endemic to South America with main occurrence in the cerrado region of Brazil. The plant itself is not considered endangered, however the accelerated advance of monoculture plantations (for example soya) in this region is causing concern.
"It is critical to shine a light on the wonder of these plants and take steps to preserve the unique beauty of the cerrado ecosystem. I intensified the natural glow of sunrise by increasing the contrast between the flowers and grass. "
Cathryn Baldock, Northumberland UK
"I overlaid multiple images of lily pads at different scales to emphasise their beauty and intricacy."
'Through the Garden'
Nicky Flint, Great Dixter House & Gardens, East Sussex, UK
"On my visit to Great Dixter, the family home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd, the morning light in the High Garden was simply enchanting. A gentle mist softened the light and created a magical atmosphere where heavy dew glistened on filigree fennel and backlit Allium flowers enticed me deeper and deeper into the garden beyond."
Andrea Pozzi, Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon Territory, Canada
"I took this photograph whilst exploring the wilderness of the Yukon Territory; the landscape was awesome and truly wild. I sat down in the vegetation, took in the scenery and admired my surroundings – it was too beautiful to be real."
Greening the City
Hong Kong, China
"This green space is on the edge of the Mong Kwok Ping Garden which sits in a compact area between buildings belonging to The University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet, so green space is essential in order to promote health and well-being."
'Sunrise at Ellicar'
Clare Forbes, Doncaster, UK
"The first rays of morning sunlight caught the remnants of mist hanging over the natural swimming pool at Ellicar Gardens. After a heavy dew, the grasses surrounding the pool were laden with sparkling water droplets."
Mandy Disher, Cambridgeshire, UK
"From early spring to late summer I chose a number of white flowers to photograph, selecting each for its unique qualities and individual characteristics. I wanted to express simplicity, happiness and well-being by using a high-key technique. In this way, I was able to capture the pure, simple and natural beauty of each plant. These included: Alstroemeria, Tulipa, Convallaria, Cosmos, Leucanthemum and Galanthus."
The Beauty of Plants
'Through Icy Glass'
Carol Casselden, Sussex, UK
"This photograph was taken one winter’s morning after the hessian sacks had been removed from the glass frames of the greenhouse, but before the ice had completely melted and disappeared. The results of this freezing process were beautiful, unexpected and somewhat unique."
The Bountiful Earth
'Morning Mist and Mellow Fruitfulness', 1st place
Nigel McCall, Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire, Wales
"In the warm, heavy mist of an August morning the Kitchen Garden at Aberglasney had a delightfully romantic atmosphere. Here, heritage fruit, cut flowers, vegetables and herbs are grown side by side and arranged by colour, making the garden a joy to photograph throughout much of the year."
Trees, Woods and Forests
'Autumn in Padley Gorge'
Dave Fieldhouse, Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, England, UK
"Padley Gorge is a honeypot location at this particular time of year, when photographers from all over the Peak District (and further afield) descend into its woodland glades. It took a while to find a composition I liked without anyone else in shot, but as the sun burnt away the last of the morning mist I achieved the image I was looking for."
Wildlife in the Garden
Alan Price, Criccieth, Gwynedd, Wales, UK
'This female blackbird was on her way back to the nest to supplement its construction with fresh vegetation.'
Yang Yu Wei, Palo Alto, California, USA
"It was a beautiful sunny morning when I visited this garden with my family. I managed to capture this Hydrangea with a dazzling background bokeh as light shone through the tree canopy."