How a GoPro and patience helped photographer win the Close-up Photographer of the Year 2023
Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY) has announced the winners of its 2023 contest. And this year, the winner is Hungarian photographer Csaba Daróczi. His striking picture of a Eurasian nuthatch in flight taken from inside a hollowed-out tree stump brought him the first prize. But, like every year, there are plenty more contest photos to admire. So, let’s jump right in.
“In the winter of 2023, I took a lot of photos in a forest close to my home in Hungary,” Csaba recalls. “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.”
Csaba was very successful this year in the Close-up photographer of the year contest. He won two more categories, the Butterflies & Dragonflies and landscape, and I absolutely loved his butterfly photo. It shows an uninvited but welcomed guest at a wedding reception, and it put a smile on my face:
About the contest
Now in its fifth year, the Close-up Photographer of the Year 5 was supported by Affinity Photo 2. It attracted almost 12,000 entries from 67 countries. A jury of 23 brilliant photographers, scientists, naturalists, journalists, and picture editors spent over 20 hours collectively on Zoom calls to find the winners and Top 100 pictures.
The contest recognizes 11 categories:
- Butterflies & Dragonflies
- Invertebrate Portrait
- Fungi & Slime Moulds
- Intimate Landscape
- Human Made
- Micro (for images created using a microscope)
- and Young Close-up Photographer of the Year (for entrants aged 17 or under.)
“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 recognise how incredible and surprising the world is.”
Take a look at the category winners below. You’ll find plenty more images from the 2023 Close-up Photographer of the Year on the contest website.
More from Close-up Photographer of the Year
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- Winners of the Close-up Photographer of the Year 2021 announced
- Picture of salamanders consumed by carnivorous plant wins 2022 Close-up Photographer of the Year
- Fairy-like Danube mayflies win Close-up Photographer of the Year’s “minimal” challenge
- How a GoPro and patience helped photographer win the Close-up Photographer of the Year 2023
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.