For the first ever ProMusa photo contest, a panel of four judges selected the 10 best photos among the more than 300 received. These include two winning entries, one in the Close up category, for photos taken with a macro lens or a microcospe, and another in the Big picture category, for any other type of photo showing a banana-related situation. The photos were evaluated on their quality and artistic merit. The photos are available for download at Musarama.
Symmetry is the winning entry in the Close up category. The black and white treatment and lighting bring a dramatic quality to a fruit better known for its bright colours. The sculptural floral relicts at the tip of each fruit also add an artistic touch to the carefully composed photo. The Cavendish banana was shot by a Finnish biologist and freelance photographer, Hannele Luhtasela-El Showk, in the greenhouse of her in-laws in Morocco.
Mediation is the winning entry in the Big picture category. The contrast of colours and the human quality emanating from the photo won over the jury. The man is a farmer selling his bananas at the Aadaloor market in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The photographer is K.P. Sajith, a PhD student at the National Research Centre for Banana.
The composition of the fractured root photographed through an electron microscope earned it a second place in the Close up category. It offers a three-dimensional look at the inside of a root that draws the viewer in. The root was fixed and then fractured using liquid nitrogen. The photograph was taken by Mônica Lanzoni Rossi from the University of São Paulo’s CENA (Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura).
The jury commended backlit leaf for its colours, lighting and asymmetrical composition, with the midrib slightly off-centre. The sunlight shining through the diseased banana leaf caught the attention of the photographer during a walk in Rabat. The photographer, Hannele Luhtasela-Elshowk, also took first prize in the Close-up category.
The silhouette of a bush-cricket on a banana leaf also captures a nicely observed moment. The jury also liked the dark spots where the feet touch the leaf. The insect is 'Segestes decoratus' one of at least four species of 'Sexava pest' which cause severe defoliation on oil palms and banana in Papua New Guinea. The photographer is Richard Markham, Research Program Manager for Pacific Crops at ACIAR.
The jury liked this elegant ornamental banana, especially the way the hanging bud and the opened bract occupy the space. The plant was shot in the photographer’s garden in Kampala, Uganda. The photographer, Danny Coyne, is a scientist at IITA.
This arresting image of a banana field seen through a fisheye lens set on the ground secured this photo the second place in the Big picture category. The camera system was developed to monitor canopy growth and was being tested in the field in Uganda when the photo was taken. The photographer is Elvis Mbiru from IITA.
To some people, this is just another shot of a bird on a nest, but the jury liked the banana bunch extending a protective hand and the glimpse at the eggs. Guy Blomme, a scientist at Bioversity International, came across the nest and its occupants while visiting a field trial in Kifu, Uganda.
The presence of seemingly untroubled bystanders makes this photo of aerial spraying stand out. Shooting into the light was risky but in this case it contributes to the message the photographer wants to send by making the fungicide-laden mist more visible. The shades of green and blue also work well together. The photo was taken in the Dominican Republic by Luc de Lapeyre de Bellaire, a scientist at CIRAD.
Two kids helping out; one valiantly carrying a heavy banana plant, while the other marches on. A touching moment captured in Burundi by Pascale Lepoint, a Bioversity scientist.