Close Up Photographer of the Year 2023 winner features alien-like salamanders

Close Up photographer of the year
(Image credit: Samantha Stephens)

A photo of two juvenile spotted salamanders trapped in a carnivorous pitcher plant has been awarded first place in the annual Close Up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY) 2023 competition. The first prize winner – Canadian photographer Samantha Stephens – received a £2,500 cash prize (roughly $3,000) plus a CUPOTY trophy for the image.

Samantha captured the winning shot at Algonquin Provincial Park, and the plant's latest meal is a little different from its usual moths and flies. Pitcher plants are a type of carnivorous plant that trap their prey in a cavity filled with digestive liquid, but salamanders aren’t generally on the menu.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.