Photography

Close-up Photographer of the Year celebrates dramatic detail

Close-up Photographer of the Y...
Balance by Petar Sabol was a finalist in the Insects category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. These two Eastern festoon butterflies were found on an early morning walk.
Balance by Petar Sabol was a finalist in the Insects category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. These two Eastern festoon butterflies were found on an early morning walk.
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Eel Larva by Galice Hoarau was the overall winner of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year, as well as the first place winner in the Animals category. This shot was taken during a blackwater dive in Indonesia.
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Eel Larva by Galice Hoarau was the overall winner of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year, as well as the first place winner in the Animals category. This shot was taken during a blackwater dive in Indonesia.
Spider in the Swamp by Csaba Daroczi was the second place winner in the Animals category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. The photographer chanced upon this well-composed scene long enough to set up a tripod and snap the shot.
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Spider in the Swamp by Csaba Daroczi was the second place winner in the Animals category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. The photographer chanced upon this well-composed scene long enough to set up a tripod and snap the shot.
Bufo Bufo by Mathieu Foulquié was the third place winner in the Animals category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This common toad reportedly followed the photographer around for much of a two-hour dive.
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Bufo Bufo by Mathieu Foulquié was the third place winner in the Animals category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This common toad reportedly followed the photographer around for much of a two-hour dive.
Fragile by Mike Curry was the first place winner in the Insects category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. Snapped with an iPhone XS, the photographer didn’t notice the butterfly until later.
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Fragile by Mike Curry was the first place winner in the Insects category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. Snapped with an iPhone XS, the photographer didn’t notice the butterfly until later.
Water Scorpions by Juan Jesús González was the second place winner in the Insects category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. The silhouettes were captured by placing flash lights beneath the surface of the water.
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Water Scorpions by Juan Jesús González was the second place winner in the Insects category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. The silhouettes were captured by placing flash lights beneath the surface of the water.
The Signal by Chien Lee was the third place winner in the Insects category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This long exposure shot reveals the trail of a bioluminescent firefly relative.
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The Signal by Chien Lee was the third place winner in the Insects category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This long exposure shot reveals the trail of a bioluminescent firefly relative.
Mandala with Miniature Tulips by Elizabeth Kazda was the first place winner in the Plants & Fungi category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This artful composition was created in a lightbox using flowers from the photographer’s own garden.
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Mandala with Miniature Tulips by Elizabeth Kazda was the first place winner in the Plants & Fungi category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This artful composition was created in a lightbox using flowers from the photographer’s own garden.
Slime Moulds on Parade by Barry Webb was the second place winner in the Plants & Fungi category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This line of fruiting bodies of slime mold almost resembles a line of little people.
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Slime Moulds on Parade by Barry Webb was the second place winner in the Plants & Fungi category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This line of fruiting bodies of slime mold almost resembles a line of little people.
Ballerina by Henrik Spranz was the third place winner in the Plants & Fungi category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. A “nice, dreamy bokeh” effect emphasizes the delicate nature of this dog’s tooth violet bloom.
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Ballerina by Henrik Spranz was the third place winner in the Plants & Fungi category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. A “nice, dreamy bokeh” effect emphasizes the delicate nature of this dog’s tooth violet bloom.
Cast in Stone by Mark James Ford was the first place winner in the Intimate Landscapes category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. Newborn rock is formed as lava begins to cool in the Kalapana lava field in Hawaii.
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Cast in Stone by Mark James Ford was the first place winner in the Intimate Landscapes category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. Newborn rock is formed as lava begins to cool in the Kalapana lava field in Hawaii.
The Bullet by Anna Ulmestrand was the second place winner in the Intimate Landscapes category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It depicts an air bubble frozen inside an icicle, near an old abandoned mill.
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The Bullet by Anna Ulmestrand was the second place winner in the Intimate Landscapes category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It depicts an air bubble frozen inside an icicle, near an old abandoned mill.
Ice Landscape by Edwin Giesbers was the third place winner in the Intimate Landscapes category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. These ice crystals were trapped inside a thermopane glass window over a cold night, reminding the photographer of “a Scandinavian landscape with pine trees and a sky full of stars.”
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Ice Landscape by Edwin Giesbers was the third place winner in the Intimate Landscapes category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. These ice crystals were trapped inside a thermopane glass window over a cold night, reminding the photographer of “a Scandinavian landscape with pine trees and a sky full of stars.”
Life Cycle of Soap Bubble Iridescence by Kym Cox was the first place winner in the Manmade World category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It’s a series of timelapse photos of soap bubbles in a glass tube.
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Life Cycle of Soap Bubble Iridescence by Kym Cox was the first place winner in the Manmade World category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It’s a series of timelapse photos of soap bubbles in a glass tube.
Towards the Mountain by Melanie Collie was the second place winner in the Manmade World category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. A rusted piece of metal begins to resemble a mountain and a cloud.
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Towards the Mountain by Melanie Collie was the second place winner in the Manmade World category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. A rusted piece of metal begins to resemble a mountain and a cloud.
Oil and Water 15 by Mirka van Renswoude was the third place winner in the Manmade World category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This striking shot captures a fleeting moment of balance between oil droplets and water, before one or the other dominates.
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Oil and Water 15 by Mirka van Renswoude was the third place winner in the Manmade World category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This striking shot captures a fleeting moment of balance between oil droplets and water, before one or the other dominates.
Glass worm by Andrei Savitsky was the first place winner in the Micro category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It shows the internal organs of a transparent fly larva, including its clearly-visible “swim bladders.”
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Glass worm by Andrei Savitsky was the first place winner in the Micro category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It shows the internal organs of a transparent fly larva, including its clearly-visible “swim bladders.”
Recrystallized Callus Remover 3 by Marek Miś was the second place winner in the Micro category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This image shows crystals of a medical gel under polarized light, creating a scene that reminded the photographer of “a Native American village with tents pitched all over the hills.”
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Recrystallized Callus Remover 3 by Marek Miś was the second place winner in the Micro category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This image shows crystals of a medical gel under polarized light, creating a scene that reminded the photographer of “a Native American village with tents pitched all over the hills.”
Green Hydra Multi Exposure by Heather Angel was the third place winner in the Micro category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It shows a timelapse of a hydra moving around in a Petri dish.
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Green Hydra Multi Exposure by Heather Angel was the third place winner in the Micro category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It shows a timelapse of a hydra moving around in a Petri dish.
Little Ball by Koncz-Bisztricz Tamás, age 16, was the first place winner in the Young category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. The image shows a yellow globular springtail feeding on the surface of a frozen puddle.
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Little Ball by Koncz-Bisztricz Tamás, age 16, was the first place winner in the Young category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. The image shows a yellow globular springtail feeding on the surface of a frozen puddle.
Rock Star by Giacomo Redaelli, age 17, was the second place winner in the Young category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. The red eye of this great crested tit stands out in this shot snapped in a wintry wood in Switzerland.
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Rock Star by Giacomo Redaelli, age 17, was the second place winner in the Young category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. The red eye of this great crested tit stands out in this shot snapped in a wintry wood in Switzerland.
Butterflies in the Light by Emelin Dupieux, age 14, was the third place winner in the Young category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This overexposed image was designed to capture the beautiful symbiotic relationship between butterflies and flowers.
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Butterflies in the Light by Emelin Dupieux, age 14, was the third place winner in the Young category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. This overexposed image was designed to capture the beautiful symbiotic relationship between butterflies and flowers.
Cheshire Gecko by Bernhard Schubert was a finalist in the Animals category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year – the eerie effect was created by an external flash from beneath the leaf
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Cheshire Gecko by Bernhard Schubert was a finalist in the Animals category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year – the eerie effect was created by an external flash from beneath the leaf
Culture Plates by Norm Baker was a finalist in the Plants & Fungi category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It highlights some of the amazing fluorescent patterns that can be created with microbes in Petri dishes.
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Culture Plates by Norm Baker was a finalist in the Plants & Fungi category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It highlights some of the amazing fluorescent patterns that can be created with microbes in Petri dishes.
Balance by Petar Sabol was a finalist in the Insects category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. These two Eastern festoon butterflies were found on an early morning walk.
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Balance by Petar Sabol was a finalist in the Insects category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. These two Eastern festoon butterflies were found on an early morning walk.
View gallery - 24 images

The winners and finalists of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year have been announced, with the top honors going to Galice Hoarau for an electrifying image of an eel larva snapped during a blackwater dive. The rest of the list highlights the seldom-seen close-up textures and details of animals, insects, plants, and the man-made world.

Now in its second year, the Close-up Photographer of the Year competition was founded in 2018 by husband-and-wife team Tracy and Daniel Calder. Designed to showcase images that provide a new perspective on the world, the competition focuses on seven different categories: animals, insects, plants and fungi, intimate landscapes, the man-made world, micro, and an award celebrating young photographers.

Eel Larva by Galice Hoarau was the overall winner of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year, as well as the first place winner in the Animals category. This shot was taken during a blackwater dive in Indonesia.
Eel Larva by Galice Hoarau was the overall winner of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year, as well as the first place winner in the Animals category. This shot was taken during a blackwater dive in Indonesia.

For the 2020 competition, French photographer Galice Hoarau claimed first place in both the Animals category and the overall competition with Eel Larva. The shot was taken during a night-time dive off the coast of Indonesia, when the rare creatures can be seen emerging from the inky black of the deep ocean.

“What makes blackwater diving so magical is the abundance of rarely seen planktonic creatures you spot as they take part in one of the largest daily migrations of any animal on Earth,” explains Hoarau. “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 down there during the day to escape predators.”

Glass worm by Andrei Savitsky was the first place winner in the Micro category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It shows the internal organs of a transparent fly larva, including its clearly-visible “swim bladders.”
Glass worm by Andrei Savitsky was the first place winner in the Micro category of the 2020 Close-up Photographer of the Year. It shows the internal organs of a transparent fly larva, including its clearly-visible “swim bladders.”

Another highlight from the collection is Glass worm, by Ukrainian photographer Andrei Savitsky. These fly larvae are commonly found in waterways, and being transparent their organs and nervous systems are on display. In this colorful image, the two spotted blobs towards the right of frame are the glassworm’s “swim bladders,” which help the insects rise and sink in the water column.

Check out the rest of the winners, runner-ups and select finalists in our gallery.

Source: Close-up Photographer of the Year

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