Photography

The best of the 2021 Close-up Photographer of the Year Awards

The best of the 2021 Close-up ...
2nd Place - Animals. Fight. Sony RX10M4, ISO 400, 1\6400sec at f/6.3, ISO 160, 20sec at f/6.3.
2nd Place - Animals. Fight. Sony RX10M4, ISO 400, 1\6400sec at f/6.3, ISO 160, 20sec at f/6.3.
View 27 Images
1st Place - Underwater. Circular Octopus. Canon 5D Mk IV, Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye, ISO 160, 1/13sec at f/22.
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1st Place - Underwater. Circular Octopus. Canon 5D Mk IV, Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye, ISO 160, 1/13sec at f/22.
2nd Place - Butterflies. Painted Lady in the Garden. Olympus E-M1 Mk II, Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO, ISO 500, 1/5000sec at f/2.8.
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2nd Place - Butterflies. Painted Lady in the Garden. Olympus E-M1 Mk II, Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO, ISO 500, 1/5000sec at f/2.8.
2nd Place - Plants and Fungi. Lachnum niveum. Olympus OMD E-M1 Mark II, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro, ISO 200, 1/10sec at f/4.
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2nd Place - Plants and Fungi. Lachnum niveum. Olympus OMD E-M1 Mark II, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro, ISO 200, 1/10sec at f/4.
3rd Place - Butterflies. Damsel in Dinner. Nikon D750, Nikkor 105mm macro f2.8, ISO 1250, 1/200sec at f/29.
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3rd Place - Butterflies. Damsel in Dinner. Nikon D750, Nikkor 105mm macro f2.8, ISO 1250, 1/200sec at f/29.
3rd Place - Young. Hidden. Nikon Z50, Sigma 60-600mm, ISO 2000, 1/250sec at f/6.3.
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3rd Place - Young. Hidden. Nikon Z50, Sigma 60-600mm, ISO 2000, 1/250sec at f/6.3.
1st Place - Plants and Fungi. Holly Parachute. Olympus OMD E-M1 Mark II, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro, ISO 200, 1/10sec at f/4.
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1st Place - Plants and Fungi. Holly Parachute. Olympus OMD E-M1 Mark II, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro, ISO 200, 1/10sec at f/4.
3rd Place - Insects. Magic Spores. Canon EOS 5D IV, Tamron 35mm DI VC 1.8, ISO 8001/200secs at f/16.
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3rd Place - Insects. Magic Spores. Canon EOS 5D IV, Tamron 35mm DI VC 1.8, ISO 8001/200secs at f/16.
2nd Place - Manmade. Delusion. Fujifilm X-T3, Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/250sec at f/22.
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2nd Place - Manmade. Delusion. Fujifilm X-T3, Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/250sec at f/22.
1st Place - Landscape. Juncture Y. Canon 5DS R, Sigma Art 24-70mm, ISO 100, 1/8sec at f/16.
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1st Place - Landscape. Juncture Y. Canon 5DS R, Sigma Art 24-70mm, ISO 100, 1/8sec at f/16.
2nd Place - Landscape. Chasm. Canon PowerShot G1 X Mk III, ISO 100, 1/4sec at f/11.
10/27
2nd Place - Landscape. Chasm. Canon PowerShot G1 X Mk III, ISO 100, 1/4sec at f/11.
2nd Place - Micro. Heaven and Earth. Lumix S1R, Mitutoyo Plan APO 20x objective, ISO 200, 1/200sec.
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2nd Place - Micro. Heaven and Earth. Lumix S1R, Mitutoyo Plan APO 20x objective, ISO 200, 1/200sec.
3rd Place - Manmade. Combs in Color. Nikon D850, Tamron 28-300mm at 90mm, ISO 31, 1/5sec at f/13.
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3rd Place - Manmade. Combs in Color. Nikon D850, Tamron 28-300mm at 90mm, ISO 31, 1/5sec at f/13.
3rd Place - Underwater. Gobys with Eggs. Olympus E-PL6, Meyer Optik Trioplan 50mm, ISO 200, 1/320sec at f/4.
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3rd Place - Underwater. Gobys with Eggs. Olympus E-PL6, Meyer Optik Trioplan 50mm, ISO 200, 1/320sec at f/4.
1st Plact - Young. Rat in Tyre Hub. Canon EOS 90D, Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary, ISO 500, 1/60sec at f/7.1.
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1st Plact - Young. Rat in Tyre Hub. Canon EOS 90D, Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary, ISO 500, 1/60sec at f/7.1.
2nd Place - Underwater. The Birth. Nikon D800E, Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye, ISO 250, 1/100sec at f/13.
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2nd Place - Underwater. The Birth. Nikon D800E, Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye, ISO 250, 1/100sec at f/13.
1st Place - Micro. Spiral Beauty. Sony A9, Olympus UPlan XAPO 20X, ISO 250, 0.3sec.
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1st Place - Micro. Spiral Beauty. Sony A9, Olympus UPlan XAPO 20X, ISO 250, 0.3sec.
1st Place - Animals. Dancing in the Dark. Canon EOS 6D, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro, ISO 160, 20sec at f/6.3.
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1st Place - Animals. Dancing in the Dark. Canon EOS 6D, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro, ISO 160, 20sec at f/6.3.
3rd Place - Animals. Tiny details. Nikon D500, Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro, ISO 400, 1/200sec at f/16.
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3rd Place - Animals. Tiny details. Nikon D500, Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro, ISO 400, 1/200sec at f/16.
3rd Place - Micro. Underwater World. Pentax K-1, Olympus BH-2 microscope, Olympus 10 X SPlan Apochromat, ISO 100, 1/80sec.
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3rd Place - Micro. Underwater World. Pentax K-1, Olympus BH-2 microscope, Olympus 10 X SPlan Apochromat, ISO 100, 1/80sec.
Overall Winner, 1st Place - Insects. Insect Diversity. Hasselblad H3D 39, Hasselblad 120mm f/4 macro, ISO 50, 8secs at f/25.
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Overall Winner, 1st Place - Insects. Insect Diversity. Hasselblad H3D 39, Hasselblad 120mm f/4 macro, ISO 50, 8secs at f/25.
3rd Place - Plants and Fungi. Dill Seed Heads. Lumix G9, Lumix G macro 30mm, ISO 1600, 1/125sec at f/5.6.
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3rd Place - Plants and Fungi. Dill Seed Heads. Lumix G9, Lumix G macro 30mm, ISO 1600, 1/125sec at f/5.6.
2nd Place - Insects. Ants and Hornet. Olympus E-M1 Mk II, Olympus 30mm/3.5 Macro, ISO 200, 1/100sec at f/13.
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2nd Place - Insects. Ants and Hornet. Olympus E-M1 Mk II, Olympus 30mm/3.5 Macro, ISO 200, 1/100sec at f/13.
1st Place - Manmade. Waves Crashing. Olympus E-M1 Mk II, Olympus M.60mm F2.8 Macro, ISO 200, 1/8sec at f/4.
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1st Place - Manmade. Waves Crashing. Olympus E-M1 Mk II, Olympus M.60mm F2.8 Macro, ISO 200, 1/8sec at f/4.
1st Place - Butterflies. Mating Underwater. Nikon D750, Nikkor 105mm macro f2.8, ISO 1250, 1/200sec at f/29.
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1st Place - Butterflies. Mating Underwater. Nikon D750, Nikkor 105mm macro f2.8, ISO 1250, 1/200sec at f/29.
2nd Place - Young. Colours through spider eye. Canon EOS 7D, Canon 50mm f/1.8, ISO 200, 1/250sec at f/8.
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2nd Place - Young. Colours through spider eye. Canon EOS 7D, Canon 50mm f/1.8, ISO 200, 1/250sec at f/8.
2nd Place - Animals. Fight. Sony RX10M4, ISO 400, 1\6400sec at f/6.3, ISO 160, 20sec at f/6.3.
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2nd Place - Animals. Fight. Sony RX10M4, ISO 400, 1\6400sec at f/6.3, ISO 160, 20sec at f/6.3.
Finalist - Animals. Take Off.
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Finalist - Animals. Take Off.
View gallery - 27 images

Now in its third year, the Close-Up Photographer of the Year competition has quickly become an impressive showcase for macro photography. Highlights in 2021 include a number of surreal shots of fungi, a stunning snap of a hornet being attacked by a swarm of ants, and a rare glimpse at fighting toad-headed agama lizards.

Unlike Nikon’s iconic Small World photography contest, which tends to focus on the science of microscopic photography, the Close-Up Photographer of the Year is a more general celebration of the art of the close-up. This year includes nine categories, two more than last time, covering Animals, Insects, Plants and Fungi, Intimate Landscapes, and new ones – Underwater, and Butterflies and Dragonflies.

2nd Place - Manmade. Delusion. Fujifilm X-T3, Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/250sec at f/22.
2nd Place - Manmade. Delusion. Fujifilm X-T3, Fujifilm XF 80mm f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/250sec at f/22.

The contest’s definition of close-up photography is broad. Essentially the contest welcomes any image that zooms in on a subject in greater detail than would be seen with the naked eye. This covers everything from macro shots of small flora and fauna to full microscopic photography.

The top prize this year went to Norwegian photography Pal Hermansen for an incredible shot of insects that seems like a composite but actually isn’t. The collection of insects came out of a defective lamp in Hermansen’s house.

Overall Winner, 1st Place - Insects. Insect Diversity. Hasselblad H3D 39, Hasselblad 120mm f/4 macro, ISO 50, 8secs at f/25.
Overall Winner, 1st Place - Insects. Insect Diversity. Hasselblad H3D 39, Hasselblad 120mm f/4 macro, ISO 50, 8secs at f/25.

“I emptied the lamp and spread the contents onto a large light-table I had left over from my slide days,” says Hermansen. “I wanted to express the chaos and diversity of this discovery, but also to find some kind of composition. To me, it’s a visual reminder of the important and extreme diversity of animals around us that we take for granted.”

Another highlight came in Czech wildlife photographer Petr Bambousek’s striking look at a group of ants working together to take down a large hornet.

2nd Place - Insects. Ants and Hornet. Olympus E-M1 Mk II, Olympus 30mm/3.5 Macro, ISO 200, 1/100sec at f/13.
2nd Place - Insects. Ants and Hornet. Olympus E-M1 Mk II, Olympus 30mm/3.5 Macro, ISO 200, 1/100sec at f/13.

“Liometopum ants live in large colonies on huge trees and feed on many different types of food,” explains Bambousek. “In the picture you can see how the group of ants work together in hunting the hornet.”

Other notable shots in the spectacular assortment of winners include a gorgeous close-up of cup fungi, a psychedelic swirl of soap bubbles, and a mind-bending shot of glass bottles composed to look like waves crashing on a beach.

1st Place - Manmade. Waves Crashing. Olympus E-M1 Mk II, Olympus M.60mm F2.8 Macro, ISO 200, 1/8sec at f/4.
1st Place - Manmade. Waves Crashing. Olympus E-M1 Mk II, Olympus M.60mm F2.8 Macro, ISO 200, 1/8sec at f/4.

“The standard was incredible,” says contest co-founder Tracy Calder. “Yet again, entrants have shown that close-up photography can help us see the world anew and discover beauty in subjects that are often overlooked.”

Take a look through our gallery at more highlights from this year’s contest.

Source: CUPOTY

View gallery - 27 images
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