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Close-up Photographer of the Year 2023 Winners Announced
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, January 15, 2024 @ 10:00 AM (EST)

Overall winner & Animals winner: “The Bird of the Forest” by Csaba Daróczi

The winners and finalists of Close-up Photographer of the Year have been announced. Hungarian shooter Csaba Daróczi bagged the top prize with a clever image of a Eurasian nuthatch flying overhead—photographed from inside a hollowed-out tree stump. The photographer captured the striking picture by triggering a GoPro HERO11 remotely. (Impressively, Daróczi also won the Butterflies & Dragonflies and Intimate Landscape categories!)

But the Underwater category, of course, is where DPGers will find the most inspiring images. The category winner was Simon Theuma, whose image, “Dreamtime,” beautifully captures the relationship between a commensal shrimp and a mosaic sea star. “Dreamtime Aboriginal art reminds us of the delicate balance that exists in the grand tapestry of our natural world—this ancient wisdom serves as an important reminder to preserve what we have,” says Theuma. The photographer used a snooted strobe, set at an acute angle to the subject, to accentuated the depth and the texture of the organisms.

You may well recognize the first runner-up in the Underwater category by Liang Fu, since the very same image won Silver in the Blackwater category of this year’s DPG Masters Underwater Imaging Competition 2023! Fu stumbled across the larval moray eel, curled into the shape of a heart, at 90 feet during a blackwater dive in Romblon, Philippines. The second runner-up is another shooter that has been awarded in DPG-hosted competitions, Our World Underwater and DEEP Indonesia: Chris Gug’s image of a golden damselfish above a bright pink, soft coral backdrop—captured in Raja Ampat, Indonesia—is a stunner.

For more incredible images from Close-up Photographer of the Year 5, check out the gallery at www.cupoty.com. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up.

Underwater winner: “Dreamtime” by Simon Theuma

Underwater 2nd place: “Heart of the Sea” by Liang Fu

Underwater 3rd place: “Pinkaboo” by Chris Gug




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