WPY 2010

Photograph Details

Specially commended 2010

In Praise of Plants and Fungi

Francisco Mingorance, Spain

Bugloss at sunset

As the sun sets, a red bugloss points towards the emerging stars from its craggy foothold of volcanic rock. This spectacular plant is found only on Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. Its massive floral spikes can reach up to 3 metres (10 feet) in height, giving it its other common name, the tower of jewels. Francisco included in the distance the silhouette of a famous Tenerife landmark, the Roques de García, to enhance the drama of the composition. 'There was no moon that night, so I had to rely on the fading dusk for light,' says Francisco. To track the stars, he exposed the shot for a full 20 minutes. 'I only had one chance before the light went,' he says. 'Luckily, the timing worked.'

Technical specification

Nikon D3 + 24-70mm lens; 983 sec at f5.6; ISO 200.

Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain: latitude 28.25, longitude -16.5833 Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain: latitude 28.25, longitude -16.5833

Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain

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Francisco Mingorance, Spain

Francisco has worked as a photojournalist for more than 30 years, and has published over 100 articles on nature in titles such as National Geographic, International Wildlife, Terre Sauvage, BBC Wildlife Magazine and Geo. His images have been used to illustrate more than 20 books, and he has won over 200 international photography awards.

  • Flowers of the volcano
  • Spirit of the volcano
  • Lanzarote by moonlight
  • Nature's canvas
  • Stork art