Fairy-like Danube mayflies win Close-up Photographer of the Year’s “Minimal” challenge

May 12, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

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.

Fairy-like Danube mayflies win Close-up Photographer of the Year’s “Minimal” challenge

May 12, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

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.

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Close-up Photographer of the Year mayflies
© Ferenc Kocsis | cupoty.com

Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY) has displayed magnificent photos over the last few years. But other than the main contest, it has special annual challenges, each featuring a different topic.

This year, CUPOTY challenged the photographers to answer the topic Minimal. This year’s winner is Hungarian photographer Ferenc Kocsis for his dreamy image of Danube mayflies in flight. Their “dance” is a very special event, possible to capture in a very short time span. And with his winning photo, Ferenc captured the magic of this unique phenomenon.

“Danube mayflies take flight sometime in August for about a week,” Ferenc explains, “flying at nightfall for only an hour or so.” This is why it’s extremely important to show up on time if you want to witness and photograph these creatures. “The larvae that live in the riverbed hatch in April and this is the final stage of their development, when they fly for the last dance of their one-year life.”

I personally found Ferenc’s photo very inspiring. I’m familiar with this phenomenon, and we call it “the blooming of the Tisza.” In the summer, Tisza mayflies swarm above the water’s surface, frequently touching it making it look like rain. The weather conditions need to be just right, and it all lasts only a few days. It’s something I’ve always wanted to witness, and Ferenc’s photo inspired me to finally do it, hopefully this year!

Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Ferenc Kocsis | cupoty.com

As for the second place, it was awarded to Canadian photographer Paul Gravett for his abstract image of carefully arranged layers of paper and acetate. “The images are layered and blended in the computer to create abstractions that reference modern art,” Paul explains. “I hope to blur the boundary of photography and art, tricking the eye and testing our assumptions about photography.”

Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Paul Gravett | cupoty.com

Stefan Gerrits won third place for his image of a mountain hare sitting in a midnight snowstorm in Norway. “My goodness I was chilled to the bone, waiting for signs of life,” Stefan recalled. “Thankfully, I got lucky when this hare seemed to have goose bumps, which made its hair stand on end.”

Close-up Photographer of the Year bunny
© Stefan Gerrits | cupoty.com

Tracy Calder, the co-founder of CUPOTY, said that the contest asked photographers to showcase images that ate clean, uncluttered, and with few elements. “What we got was so much more,” she added. “Everything from stink bugs to springtails and plant seeds were put before the judges – each picture a beautiful example of how simplifying a scene can really amplify its message.”

The fifth Close-up Photographer of the Year is currently open for entries. The Early Bird deadline is May 31, 2023, and the final deadline for entries is July 9, 2023. So, head over to the contest’s website if you want to submit your own photos! Check out the rest of the winners below, as well as a selection of shortlists. You can check out the full gallery here.

Winners

Close-up Photographer of the Year print

© Alex Pansier | cupoty.com

Close-up Photographer of the Year stinkbug
© Benjamin Salb | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Gabi Swart | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Jane van Bostelen | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Kristina Zvinakeviciute | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Krisztina Mácsai | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Lovre Culina | cupoty.com

Shortlists selection

Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Ann  Newman | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Andy Sands | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Alexis Tinker | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Adrian Truchta | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Yicai Chang | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Stefan Gerrit | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Viola Ricci | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Angelo Richardson | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Cesare Barillà | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Chris Manfield | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Clement Boyer | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Ecaterina Leonte | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Jeannet van der Knijff | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Jose Luis Gigirey | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Martin Parratt | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Morey Gers | cupoty.com
Close-up Photographer of the Year Minimal
© Sonja Bohte | cupoty.com

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

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.

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