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Winners announced for Close-up Photographer of the Year 2019

Namib’s Gaze image (CUPotY Animals winner & Overall winner)
Emanuele Biggi's stunning image of a camera-shy adder won Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2019
(Image credit: Emanuele Biggi/CUPOTY 01)

An amazing image of a Peringuey’s adder peeping out of the sand in southern Africa’s Namib Desert is the winner of the first-ever Close-up Photographer of the Year competition. 

The stunning shot was taken by Italian television presenter Emanuele Biggi, who followed the snake’s tracks in the sand before finding it under a shrub. 

Elsewhere in the competition, which attracted more than 3,000 entries from 42 countries, biologist Henri Koskinen topped the Plants & fungi category with his shot of coltsfoot seeds, while the Intimate landscape category went to graphic designer Hal Gage for his abstract shot of glacial mud. 

For mixing art and science with her bubble work, Kym Cox took the Manmade prize, and a mesmerising image of sugar and salt crystals under a microscope gave Marek Miś a win in the Micro category. 

Young Close-up Photographer of the Year went to Josiah Launstein for his beautiful shot of a monkey-moth caterpillar. 

Close-up Photographer of the Year 2019: winning images 

Starburst Mud image (Intimate landscape winner) CUPotY 2019

'Starburst Mud', Intimate landscape winner of Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2019

(Image credit: Hal Gage/CUPOTY 01)

No.9 916 Series image, Manmade winner, CUPotY 2019

'No.9 916 Series', Manmade winner, Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2019

(Image credit: Kym Cox/CUPOTY 01)

Seeds on Stage image, Plants & fungi winner, CUPotY 2019

'Seeds on Stage', Plants & fungi winner, Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2019

(Image credit: Henri Koskinen/CUPOTY 01)

Raindrops image, Young Close-up Photographer of the Year winner, CUPotY 2019

'Raindrops', winner of Young Close-up Photographer of the Year 2019 

(Image credit: Josiah Launstein/CUPOTY 01)

Namib’s Gaze image (CUPotY 2019 Animals & Overall winner)

'Namib’s Gaze', Animals category & overall winner of Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2019

(Image credit: Emanuele Biggi/CUPOTY 01)

Close-up Photographer of the Year was founded by former editor of Outdoor Photography magazine, Tracy Calder, and was judged by Ross Hoddinott, Sue Bishop, David Maitland, Robert Thompson and Keith Wilson. 

Overall winner Emanuele Biggi will receive £1,300 in cash, and a Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art lens lens and Sigma sd Quattro camera with a combined value of £1,200. 

The five category winners each receive £300 each, while under-17 winner Josiah will soon become the proud owner a Sigma Art lens. 

Whittling down the entries was a tough job, but Tracy says the judges certainly rose to the challenge: “I have been blown away by the standard of entries, and genuinely moved by how positive people have been about the competition.”     

Discussing his winning image, Emanuele Biggi said: “This adder is small, the diameter of each eye is about 2-3mm, so even though I knew it was there, it was still hard to spot.” 

“It relies on camouflage to hunt and uses a sit-and-wait technique, leaving its nostrils and eyes above ground for breathing and scanning around. When prey comes near, the snake strikes and delivers a venomous bite.” 

Next year's contest

Close-up Photographer of the Year 02 opens for entries in September. To keep up to date with competition developments and sign up to the newsletter, visit the CUPotY homepage

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