Italian photographer Valter Binotto's wind composition photograph was the winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the plants section. With every gust of wind, showers of pollen were released, lit up by the winter sunshine. The hazel tree was near Valter’s home in northern Italy, and to create the dark background, he positioned himself to backlight the flowers. Hazel has both male, female flowers on the same tree, though the pollen must be transferred between trees for fertilization. Each catkin comprises an average of 240 male flowers, while the female flower is a small bud-like structure with a red-tufted stigma. The pollen-producing catkins open early in the year, before the leaves are out, and release huge amounts of pollen to be carried away by the wind. Recent research suggests that bees may also play a role. The catkins are an important source of pollen for early bees, have a bee‑friendly structure, while the red colour of the female flowers may entice insects to land on them. "The hardest part was capturing the female flowers motionless while the catkins were moving," explains Valter. "I searched for flowers on a short branch that was more stable." Using a long exposure to capture the pollen’s flight, a reflector to highlight the catkins, he took many pictures before the wind finally delivered the composition he had in mind. Valter Binotto's equipment includes: Nikon D4 + 200mm f4 lens, 1/80 sec at f10, ISO 200, remote shutter release, Gitzo tripod + Benro head , reflector. - © Valter Binotto Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Plants winner - Wednesday 19th October 2016 (1 Picture)
Winner, Plants, Fungi
With Every Gust Of Wind, Showers Of Pollen Were Released, Lit Up By The Winter Sunshine. The Hazel Tree Was Near Valter’s Home In Northern Italy, And To Create The Dark Background, He Positioned Himself To Backlight The Flowers. Hazel Has Both Male, Female Flowers On The Same Tree, Though The Pollen Must Be Transferred Between Trees For Fertilization. Each Catkin Comprises An Average Of 240 Male Flowers, While The Female Flower Is A Small Bud-like Structure With A Red-tufted Stigma. The Pollen-producing Catkins Open Early In The Year, Before The Leaves Are Out, And Release Huge Amounts Of Pollen To Be Carried Away By The Wind., Now Recent Research Suggests That Bees May Also Play A Role. The Catkins Are An Important Source Of Pollen For Early Bees, Have A Bee‑friendly Structure, While The Red Colour Of The Female Flowers May Entice Insects To Land On Them. ‘the Hardest Part Was Capturing The Female Flowers Motionless While The Catkins Were Moving, ’ Explains Valter. ‘i Searched For Flowers On A Short Branch That Was More Stable.’ Using A Long Exposure To Capture The Pollen’s Flight, A Reflector To Highlight The Catkins, He Took Many Pictures Before The Wind Finally Delivered The Composition He Had In Mind.
Nikon D4 + 200mm F4 Lens, 1/80 Sec At F10, Iso 200, Remote Shutter Release, Gitzo Tripod + Benro Head and Reflector.
Photo credit: Valter Binotto/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Supplied by
View All: Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016