Flower photography has much in common with other genres. Perhaps the most striking similarity comes from its relationship with portraiture. When we take a beautiful image of a flower, we’re attempting to get to the heart of its character. We make sure we have focused in on the most central part of the flower (for example, the stamens) and use a very shallow depth of field to throw out the background and cause the subject to pop out of the frame. Regardless of the techniques, each of these images here succeeds in telling us much about the inherent beauty of the world around us and demonstrates that there are opportunities wherever we look.

You can see all the winners and finalists of the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition at an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey, on 6 February. If you’d 
like to enter competition 10, visit www.igpoty.com. It opens on 14 February.