Small but mighty: these winners of the Close Up Photographer of the Year deserve a huge round of applause

Small but mighty: these winners of the Close Up Photographer of the Year deserve a huge round of applause

Small but mighty: these winners of the Close Up Photographer of the Year deserve a huge round of applause

The winners of this year’s Close-up Photographer of the Year were recently announced, and there are some truly amazing images with interesting stories to go along with them.

The overall winner was photographed by Samantha Stephens for her image of a pair of salamanders killed by a carnivorous plant.

“Northern pitcher plants typically feed on moths and flies, but researchers recently discovered a surprising new item in the plant’s diet: juvenile salamander,” says Samantha.

“While following the researchers on their daily surveys, I saw a jar with two salamanders swimming on the surface of the jar’s liquid, both in the same state of decay. I knew it was a special and fleeting moment.”

We’ve picked our favorites from the top 3 of each category, including stunning snakes, slime molds, and creepy parasitic worms.

The Close-up Photographer of the Year is a celebration of close-up, macro and micro photography and is open to amateurs and professionals from around the world.

Winner in the category animals and overall winner

Two lizard creatures looking like aliens in an eye shape

Two juvenile spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) were swallowed by a northern pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea), a kind of carnivorous plant. These salamanders have already begun to rot in the bottom of the plant’s bell-shaped leaves. Photo by Samantha Stephens/CUPOTY

Underwater Category Winner

Small predator on seaweed under water

This is a stalked jellyfish (Lucernaria quadricornis), Hideout in the freezing waters of the White Sea, Russia. The green algae surrounding it indicate that spring is on its way. Photo by Viktor Lyagushkin/CUPOTY

Winner in the Manmade category

three oil drops look like face

This macro image was taken when two drops of oil merged and the image resembles a very funny face. Photo by Matt Vacca/CUPOTY

Winner in the Mushrooms category

Mushrooms trapped in ice bubbles

Some mature slime molds identified as comatricha, growing on an old rotten fence post. These shapes were locked in ice during the freezing cold night. The largest slime mold in this image is still only 3mm. Photo by Barry Webb/CUPOTY

Winner in the butterflies category

Butterfly wings covered with dew

A dewy male banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) resting on a reed, early morning in Ede, Netherlands. Photo by Wim Vooijs/CUPOTY

Winner in the youth category

a bunch of yellow slime molds on a branch

fruiting bodies of slime molds (Hemitrichia calyculata), photographed on rotten wood. Photo by Nathan Benstead/CUPOTY

Winner in the Plants category

a flower hanging in the distance

Snakehead Mother of Pearl Flower (Fritillaria meleagris), taken in the city of Toulouse, France. Photo by Sebastien Blomme/CIPOTY

Micro Category Winner

Fury green algae on a black background

A species of red algae (Batrachospermum) Taken from a small river in Wigry National Park, Poland and photographed under the microscope. Photo by Marek Miś

Reverse winner in the Portrait category

Black and brown spider close-up

This triangular species of spider (Arkys curtulus) is an ambush predator, not a web-based hunter like most other spider species. To hunt its prey, it sits compactly and curled up on a leaf, mimicking bird droppings. Photo by Jamie Hall/CUPOTY

Winner in the Intimate Landscapes category

Water ripples close-up

A building is reflected in the water of a nearby water feature in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom. Photo by Mike Curry/CUPOTY

Winner in the Insects category

many insects in flight at night

A swarm of termites flies around a traffic light near a gas pump in Cooch Behar, India, but unfortunately a drongo (small bird) swoops in and easily eats them all. Photo by Anirban DuttaIntruder/CUPOTY

More pictures from Scientific focus:

Second in the Mushrooms category

Mushroom cap under cobwebs

A scarlet waxcap slime mold photographed in Ebernoe Woods, United Kingdom in November 2021. In this eerie image, dew covers the slime mold as well as the surrounding spider webs. Photo by Jeremy Lintott/CUPOTY

Second in the underwater category

pink fish resting on shells

A blue-spotted clipfish (Pavoclinus caeruleopunctatus) resting on some Mediterranean mussels, an invasive species, in the waters of Steenbras Deep, False Bay, South Africa where this photo was taken. Photo by Kate Jonker/CUPOTY

Second in the Invert Portrait category

Brown worm curled up in a ball

This Gordian worm (Nematomorpha) is a parasitic beast that has just emerged from inside a fireback hunter spider in the rainforest stream of Australia’s Sunshine Coast. These worms lay their eggs in water, and if an insect is unlucky enough to eat an egg when it is drinking, they will soon find such a worm growing inside them. Photo by Ben Revell/CUPOTY

Third place in the animal category

Snake moves through brown sand

A Sahara sand otter (Cerastes vipera) weaves its way across the sand dunes of the Negev Desert, Israel before getting in a good position to capture prey. Photo by Paul Lennart Schmid/CUPOTY

Third place in the butterflies category

Maidenfly resting on flower

A common winter dragonfly (Sympecma fusca) rests on the tip of a grass spikelet in this image taken in Fribourg, Switzerland. Photo by Kai Rösler/CUPOTY

Third place in the Intimate Landscapes category

Sea fans close-up

Close-up of a sea fan photographed in Aruba waters. Photo by Angelo Richardson/CUPOTY

Third place in the micro category

Close up of bright red flower

This incredible moss identified as schistidium, is only about 1 mm wide at the head, where you can see the so-called peristome teeth. These teeth are common in mosses and allow them to gradually release spores. This was photographed in Ulleråker, Sweden, in the photographer’s living room. Photo by Harald Cederlund/CUPOTY

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *