These 7 Winners of the Close-up Photographer of the Year Will Leave You Dazzled
This year's Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY) competition drew in over 6,500 entries from 52 countries, all offering striking images of impeccable detail.
2020's all-round winner was Galice Hoarau, who captured an electrifying picture of an eel larva while diving in Indonesia. The French photographer also won the animals' category with his photo.
CUPOTY focuses on seven categories: animals, insects, plants and fungi, intimate landscapes, the man-made world, micro, and a young photographer's section.
This is only the second year the competition has taken place after it was founded by husband and wife Tracy and Daniel Calder.
Without further ado, here are the winning images of the seven categories of this year's Close-up Photographer of the Year competition.
The French photographer, who is also a professor in marine molecular ecology, took this stand-out photograph as he was on a blackwater dive off the island of Sembeh in Indonesia.
In his own words, Hoarau explained, "‘Peering through the darkness with your torch can be stressful the first time you do it, but it gets fascinating quickly."
"After sunset, small pelagic animals (like this larva) rise close to the surface to feed where the sunlight has allowed planktonic algae to grow. At sunrise, they dive into the depths and stay there during the day to escape predators," he continued.
Mike Curry took home the award for this category with his beautifully-entitled "Fragile" image.
One of the competition's judges Ross Hoddinott said: "The juxtaposition of manmade decay and natural beauty works beautifully here."
"The texture and pattern of the blistered paint creates a compelling close-up on its own, but the addition of the butterfly’s natural beauty and delicacy is a masterstroke," Hoddinott continued.
3. Plants & Fungi
Named "Mandala with Miniature Tulips," Elizabeth Kazda's image is of tulips from her own garden. Kazda combined multiple exposures to bring to life this striking photograph.
4. Intimate Landscape
'Cast in Stone,' Mark James Ford's winning image is called, shows a baking lava field in Hawaii, as heat rises out of a crack. You can literally watch as the lava settles and becomes hard rock.
5. Man-made World
Kym Cox took home the winning title of this category for the second time in a row. One of the competition's judges, Keith Wilson, nailed it on the head. "At first glance, this is a puzzling picture that enthralls with its mystery," he said.
"Nothing is obvious here. And yet, like all good stories, it pulls you in, frame by colorful frame, until the reality unfolds and you are left in a state of wonder at the simplicity of it all."
Simplicity at it's finest: electrician Andrei Savistky snapped an image of this bright glass worm with his smartphone. The detail and coloring are incredible and delightful. Not an image you'd expect to be able to capture on your phone. It goes to show, that you don't always need a fancy camera to take an award-winning image.
7. Young Close-up Photographer of the Year
In this category, young photographers share their images, and it was Hungarian Tamás Koncz-Bisztricz who took home the prize for his photo of a springtail in a meadow near his house.
Young Koncz-Bisztricz used the cold and frozen weather to his benefit and explained that when he was "Crouching down, I spotted some yellow globular springtails which were feeding in the sunrays reflected from the ice."
"I used LED torches to illuminate one of them, and came away with a picture that celebrates this tiny creature," he explained in the press release.