The Close-up Photographer of the Year competition has unveiled its winners and finalists, showcasing the breathtaking beauty of nature at its most intricate and intimate scales. With nearly 12,000 submissions, the winning images offer a glimpse into the animal kingdom, fungi, and the wonders of our natural world.
One of the standout photographs is “Wood Ants Firing Acid Secretion,” capturing a moment of intense survival instincts as wood ants in the Netherlands spray acid towards the photographer. Another captivating image, titled “The Wedding Guest,” depicts an oak peacock moth on a window during a wedding ceremony in Hungary.
For the Animals category, “Dune Wrestling” portrays two toadhead agamas engaged in a territorial dispute, while “The Bird of the Forest” captures a Eurasian nuthatch flying through the forest from inside a tree stump, creating a unique mushroom-shaped frame.
In the Young Close-up Photographer of the Year category, the photograph “Dicyrtomina Ornata” showcases a globular springtail crawling through a German forest, while “Comatricha Nigra” reveals the extraordinary fruiting bodies of the slime mold. “Small Wanders” presents a black-and-white image of a Moorish gecko’s hindleg and tail on a wall covered in magnesium crystals.
Underwater wonders come to life in “Pinkaboo,” capturing a golden damselfish amidst a pink coral reef off the coast of Indonesia. Meanwhile, “Heart of the Sea” exhibits a lava moray eel curling into a heart-like shape during a nighttime dive in the Philippines. The captivating photograph “Dreamtime” showcases a commensal shrimp floating above a mosaic sea star, almost resembling a beluga whale gliding through an abstract seascape.
The Plants category offers a glimpse into the serene beauty of nature, featuring stunning images such as “Golden Agave,” which presents a close-up view of the leaves on an agave plant, and “Tears in My Eyes,” capturing a sundew plant that resembles a sea anemone.
Capturing the remarkable intricacies of the microscopic world, the Micro category presents images like “Twisted Dandelion,” which dives deep into the intricate details of a dandelion using a compilation of 200 individual exposures. “Amoeba” showcases the complex organelles of an amoeba, while “Beach Grass” provides a microscopic look at the cross-section of beach grass.
The competition also recognized exceptional photographs in the Invertebrate Portrait category, with “Dancing Sands Violin Crab” capturing a fiddler crab in a defensive stance, “Orange Isopod” showcasing an orange woodlouse unfurling, and “Jumping Stick” presenting an adorable yet off-balance invertebrate.
To explore the world of insects, “Circular Trenching Behavior by a Leaf Beetle” showcases a leaf beetle within a circular hole it cut in a leaf, and “Mosquito Egg Raft” reveals the mesmerizing sight of mosquito eggs floating on water.
The Human Made category features the creativity of photographers capturing stunning man-made subjects. “Ferro Field” portrays a magnet creating a pattern on a ferrofluid, while “Colour Study 51” combines colored transparencies to produce an abstract composition. “Asymmetrical Threads” showcases an intricate arrangement of colored threads rotated on a platform.
Lastly, the Fungi & Slime Moulds category presents captivating photographs such as “Fungi and Fairy Dust,” where misty effects were added to fungi sprouting from the forest moss, and “The Ice Crown,” which captures the ethereal beauty of a slime mold adorned with ice.
These winning images from the Close-up Photographer of the Year competition remind us of the extraordinary beauty that can be found in the smallest of details. They offer a fresh perspective on the world around us, inviting us to appreciate the wonders of nature that often go unnoticed.
Close-up Photographer of the Year: FAQ
1. What is the Close-up Photographer of the Year competition?
The Close-up Photographer of the Year competition is an annual competition that showcases and celebrates close-up photography of the natural world. It invites photographers to submit their best close-up images of various subjects, including animals, plants, fungi, and more.
2. What are some of the standout photographs from the competition?
Some standout photographs from the competition include “Wood Ants Firing Acid Secretion,” capturing wood ants spraying acid; “The Wedding Guest,” featuring an oak peacock moth during a wedding ceremony; and “Dune Wrestling,” depicting two toadhead agamas in a territorial dispute.
3. What categories are included in the competition?
The competition includes categories such as Animals, Young Close-up Photographer of the Year, Underwater, Plants, Micro, Invertebrate Portrait, Human Made, and Fungi & Slime Moulds. Each category focuses on specific subjects or aspects of nature.
4. Can you provide some examples from the Young Close-up Photographer of the Year category?
Examples from the Young Close-up Photographer of the Year category include “Dicyrtomina Ornata,” featuring a crawling globular springtail; “Comatricha Nigra,” showcasing fruiting bodies of a slime mold; and “Small Wanders,” presenting a black-and-white image of a Moorish gecko’s hindleg and tail.
5. What other categories are featured in the competition?
Other categories in the competition include Underwater, capturing the wonders of the underwater world; Plants, highlighting the beauty of plants; Micro, showcasing the microscopic world; Invertebrate Portrait, focusing on invertebrate subjects; Human Made, featuring man-made subjects; and Fungi & Slime Moulds, showcasing fungi and slime molds.
Related link: Close-up Photographer
These winning images from the Close-up Photographer of the Year competition remind us of the incredible beauty that can be found in the smallest of details. They provide a fresh perspective on the wonders of nature, inviting us to appreciate the often unnoticed intricacies of our natural world.