Mesmerizing Shots From Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2021 Explore the Tiny World
Pål Hermansen won this year’s title for a beautiful picture of insects discovered in a defective lamp in his house in Norway
Founded in 2018 by photojournalists Tracy and Dan Calder, Close-Up Photographer of the Year is an annual competition that has become a brilliant showcase for macro photography. Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2021 has announced its winners and the shots are absolutely spectacular.
Now in its third year, the contest is organized in associated with Affinity Photo to encourage photographers to explore and enjoy the smallest wonders of nature. Over 9,000 photographers from 56 countries submitted their photographs for the contest.
Here are some of the most mesmerizing images from the Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2021 that explore the tiny world around us.
Light Trap: These insects were found by the photographer inside a defective lamp outside his home, which had acted as a light trap, encapturing the diverse insect world inside it.
Image: Pål Hermansen
This mole cricket looks like a scary alien that has come to invade your home planet.
Image: Marco Jongsma
Hornet Hunt: Liometopum ants that live in large colonies on huge trees are working in unison to hunt this hornet.
Image: Petr Bambousek
Captured during a night hike, this cockroach is illuminated in refracting light as a bracket fungus released masses of spores.
Image: Bernhard Schubert
An opilione aka harvestman is captured moving along a dry twig in a small hollow created by a landslide. The long legs of the creature guide it in the dark.
Image: Juan J. González Ahumada
Two secret toad-head agamas fight over territory in Kalmykia, Russia.
Image: Svetlana Ivanenko
The photographer took this mesmerizing shot of the feet of a hanging upside-down lesser horseshoe bat in an abandoned mine of Börzsöny Hills in Hungary.
Image: Lili Sztrehárszki
Death Wish: This beetle seems to be having a death wish to toy with this aspis viper.
Image: Dario Quattrin
Titled “Holly Parachute,” this image captures Holly Parachute fungi growing on a dead holly leaf.
Image: Barry Webb
This finalist picture in the Underwater category shows a close view of a larval wonderpus octopus.
Image: Filippo Borghi
This image of Lachnum niveum, tiny cuplike fungi, capturing water droplets in hairs on its stem, won the photographer the second prize in the Plants and Fungi category.
Image: Andy Sands
An octopus takes refuge in a large Pinna nobilis shell to create its den and protect itself from predators.
Image: Alessandro Grasso
The Mating Ritual: All species of the Animal Kingdom have different mating rituals. Take this pair of damselflies for instance – in which “the female climbs down deep in the water while the male clasps the neck of the female with a special organ on the tip of its tail.”
Image: Ripan Biswas
“Damsel in Dinner” – A dead damselfly floats on the surface of the water as a nymph of a water strider feasts on its corpse.
Image: Aniket Rangnath Thopate
Crashing Waves: Using a colorful glass bottle, microlens and natural daylight, the photographer was able to capture the crashing waves and brewing storm on the dramatic sea in an abstract form.
Image: Rachel McNulty
An inhabitant of the freshwater environment, this green algae Spirogyra has its chloroplast shaped as fascinating spirals, which are stained with fluorescent dyes on some parts for the picture.
Image: Håkan Kvarnström
Seems like somebody is playing peek-a-boo with its buddies while enjoying the lovely weather of Cornwall, England.
Image: Ezra Boulton
Natural Hiders: Camouflaged in an agricultural area, this hare is almost invisible on the first look at this picture.
Image: Anton Trexler