Close-up Photographer of the Year 5 (2023) – Winners Announced

Close-up Photographer of the Year 5 (2023) – Winners Announced

The fifth Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY) competition has come to a close and the finalists have been announced. Almost 12,000 entries were submitted from 67 different countries, all vying to win a top spot in one of 11 categories. SIGMA UK is the proud to sponsor of the YOUNG CUPOTY award again this year. All category winners receive a Universal License for all three Affinity Photo apps.

The Bird of the Forest | © Csaba Daróczi | cupoty.com

The overall CUPOTY winner and first place image in the Animals category was Hungarian photographer Csaba Daróczi with a striking picture of an Eurasian nuthatch in flight taken from inside a hollowed-out tree. Casaba has been awarded a £2,500 cash prize and a one-of-a-kind Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY) trophy.

Csaba explains:
‘In the winter of 2023, I took a lot of photos in a forest close to my home in Hungary. I found something new to photograph almost every week, and I spent several days exploring ideas and perfecting techniques. Staying curious and open-minded led me to this hollowed out tree stump, which measured around half a metre in diameter. I carefully positioned my GoPro 11 camera inside the trunk and took a few shots. I was amazed by the results. After a few days, however, I decided the composition might be improved if I included an animal in the frame. So, I returned to the spot and placed a sunflower near the hole, which the mice and birds soon found.’

Technical information
Gopro HERO 11
F2.5/15 mm fixed lens
1/5400sec, F2.5, ISO800
Accessories: Remote controller
Post processing: Basic adjustments in Lightroom

SIGMA UK is proud to share the winner of the YOUNG CUPOTY award as Spanish Photographer Carlos Pérez Naval with his incredible abstract image of a Moorish gecko climbing a wall covered with tree-shaped minerals.

Carlo’s comments:
‘In the wall of some houses in Calamocha – the village in Spain where I live – it’s possible to find pyrolusites. These magnesium minerals create stunning formations, which look just like petrified trees, but they are so small that they’re tricky to spot.’ he recalls. ‘One day, I was lucky enough to find a Moorish gecko very close to the pyrolusite’s wall, so I tried to make the most of the encounter. I wanted to capture a gecko in the ‘petrified forest’ for a long time, but they only recently appeared in my village (probably carried in fruit baskets from hotter areas). Due to climate change they can now survive here.’

Technical information
Nikon D500
Nikkor 105mm
1/4, F8, ISO1250
Accessories: Tripod
Post processing: Basic adjustments in Lightroom

Small Wonders | © Carlos Pérez Naval | cupoty.com

CUPOTY co-founder Tracy Calder comments:

‘Thanks to these creative and original pictures, I now know that tadpoles can eat birds, ants can fire acid like water pistols, and bees sometimes hold each other’s legs while they sleep, Personally, I think this is our best collection of winning images yet, and I’m so grateful to those who entered as it allows us to see and learn from their work and to recognise how incredible and surprising the world is.’

CUPOTY is an annual competition that aims to reveal the hidden wonder of the world through close-up, macro and micro photography. Join the community and get inspired. View the top 100 entries, participate in themed challenges and find out entry details of the 2024 annual competition.

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Close-up Photographer of the Year

Find the full list of winners, finalists and details on how to participate

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