Among the winning images of the Close-Up Photographer of the Year contest, frilly slime mold stems from leaves, elegant insects splay colorful wings, and microscopic patterns create vivid abstractions. Now in its fourth year, the competition attracted more than 9,000 entries from 54 countries.
The overall winner of this year’s competition was captured by Samantha Stephens and glimpses two tiny amphibians trapped inside a carnivorous plant. She explains, “Typically, these plants feast on invertebrates such as moths and flies, but recently, researchers at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station discovered a surprising new item on the plant’s menu: juvenile Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum).” It was a timely capture; by the following day, the creatures had sunk to the bottom of the pitcher.
See some of our favorite captures below, and visit the contest’s website to view the Top 100 photographs of the year.
Uday Hegde, “Atlas Moth.” Second Place Dragonflies and Butterflies Category Winner
Samantha Stephens, “Nature’s Pitfall,” Overall Winner and Animals Category Winner
Minghui Yuan, “Little Naughty Draw Circle,” Third Place Insects Category Winner
Andy Sands, “Slime Mould [Didymium Squamulosum] on Holly Leaf,” Third Place Fungi Category Winner
Angelo Richardson, “Sea in Fan,” Third Place Intimate Landscape Category Winner
Marek Miś, “Batrachospermum Red Algae,” First Place Micro Category Winner
Ben Revell, “Gordian Worm Knot,” Second Place Invertebrate Portrait Category Winner
Viktor Lyagushkin, “Little Predator,” Underwater First Place
Kate Jonker, “Beauty and the Beast,” Second Place Underwater Category Winner
Anton Trexler, “Doner Kebab and Pizza,” Third Place Young Category Winner