Most people I know are afraid of bugs or disgusted by them. However, insects are a magnificent subject for macro photography, and they can look gorgeous, elegant, even comical. This year’s Luminar Bug Photographer of the Year winners show all sides of insects that could make you stop fearing them. After all, even the contest winner overcame his fear of insects through photography!
The 2020 contest saw over 5,000 entries from around the globe, competing for a total prize pool of £23,000. The grand prize winner and Luminar Bug Photographer of the Year 2020 is Mofeed Abu Shalwa. Interestingly enough, this Saudi Arabian photographer started shooting insects as an attempt to overcome his childhood phobia of them. Obviously, he successfully overcame his fear, and turned it into a creative expression. For his stunning image of a red palm weevil, he won £4,500 worth of prizes.
The title of Luminar Young Bug Photographer of the Year 2020 was awarded to 17-year-old Jamie Spensley from Solihull, UK. This second-year student won the prize for his technically brilliant shot of a carder bee, which earned him over £1,200 worth of prizes.
Luminar Bug Photographer of the Year was launched as a way of celebrating invertebrates photography, but also raising awareness that so many invertebrates species have seen large declines in their populations. The awards have also raised valuable funds for the conservation efforts of Buglife.
Take a look at more stunning photos below. To see all the winning images, runners up and shortlisted images, visit the Luminar Bug Photography Awards website.