The 2023 Close-up Photographer of the Year has been named. Hungarian photographer Csaba Daróczi has won the top prize for his striking image of a Eurasian nuthatch flying overhead a hollowed-out tree stump.
“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 meter in diameter,” Daróczi says of his winning photo, seen above. “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.”
For the grand prize victory, Daróczi will be awarded a £2,500 cash prize, equivalent to about $3,100, a universal license for Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher apps, a NiSi macro focusing rail (NM-200S), a NiSi macro close-up lens, and a trophy. The competition is supported by Affinity Photo.
The competition attracted nearly 12,000 entries from almost 70 countries. There were 11 total categories, including one specifically for photographers aged 17 and under. The top three images for each category are featured below, save for Daróczi’s winning image, which took the top spot in the Animals category.
“Thanks to these creative and original pictures, I now know that tadpoles can eat birds, ants fire acid like water pistols and bees sometimes hold each other’s legs while they sleep,” says CUPOTY co-founder Tracy Calder. “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 recognize how incredible and surprising the world is.”
Butterflies and Dragonflies
Young Close-up Photographer of the Year
Alongside the top three images for each category, the Close-up Photographer of the Year contest has named finalists. The complete gallery of honored images is available on the CUPOTY website.
Image credits: Photos courtesy of the Close-up Photographer of the Year contest | cupoty.com. All photographers are individually credited.