Round Six of our Amateur Photographer of the Year competition is now open! The theme is Close-ups

The magic of macro photography is that it gives us a view of the world that we never normally see. The intricacies and beauty of a butterfly wing or the alien-like features of a spider all come alive when viewed in close-up. Natural subjects are often the go-to for the macro photographer, with good reason, but the medium offers such huge scope for creativity, you can look almost anywhere and at anything for inspiration. Good technique is crucial in this round, and it’s vital to get to get the focusing spot on, because a millimetre can make the difference between a shot that’s rejected and a winner. Get ready to submit your close-ups!

Your guest judge for Round Six, Close-Ups

Tracy Calder

Your guest judge for Round Six, Close-Ups, is Tracy Calder. Tracy has more than 20 years of experience in the photo magazine industry. In 2018 she co-founded Close-up Photographer of the Year – an international competition celebrating close-up, macro and micro photography. She has written numerous photography books, and her work has appeared in more than 20 consumer magazines. Instagram: @cupoty, @tracy_calder_photo


Round Six closes Friday 15th July.

Henrik Spranz’s shot of a female scarlet dragonfly surrounded by gorgeous colours was awarded eighth place in last year’s close-ups round

Henrik Spranz’s shot of a female scarlet dragonfly surrounded by gorgeous colours was awarded eighth place in last year’s close-ups round

See some of our close-up tips here: Our best-ever close up photography tips

30 common macro mistakes and how to avoid them

Featured image: Lucy Monckton, Fifth place in Close-up round in Young APOY 2021

Young Amateur Photographer of the Year

For the second time, we have added a Young Photographer of the Year category to APOY, in order to encourage our up-and-coming snappers. Entrants should be 21 years old or younger by the competition’s final closing date of 4 November 2022. All the categories are the same as for the main competition – simply select the Young APOY option on Photocrowd when you upload your images. This category is free to enter; each category winner receives a £250 voucher, and the overall winner receives a voucher for £500 to spend at MPB.


Camera Club award

Do you belong to a camera club? You can accumulate points for your society when you enter APOY, and after all the ten rounds are complete, the one with the most points will win a voucher for £500 to spend at MPB. The club might want to spend it on gear for use by members, or even run its own in-house competition with the prize going to the most successful photographer. It’s entirely up to the winning group to decide.

See the current leaderboards here: APOY 2022 Leaderboard

young apoy round ten winner Close-up

Young APOY 2021 Close-up winner Gustav Parenmark

Plan your APOY Year

Below is a list of all this year’s rounds, including when they open, when they close and the dates the results will be announced in AP

What you win

The winner of each round of APOY 2022 receives a £500 voucher to spend on anything at MPB. Fans of close-up photography might want to put the voucher towards a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM. This excellent lens has a true macro magnification ratio of 1:1, meaning the object you are photographing is the same size as on your camera sensor, while its Hybrid Image Stabilizer system counteracts both regular angular shake and lateral shift-shake. It’s equally good for portraiture and macro, and can be bought for between £514 up to £704 for a model in like-new condition.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM lens for close-ups

The sturdy, weather-sealed Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro is also well worth consideration. Constructed with 14 elements in 11 groups, it features Ultrasonic Silent Drive, as well as Vibration Compensation. As with the Canon lens above, it has a magnification ratio of 1:1, and is also a great choice for portrait photography. Being a third-party lens, it’s available in Nikon, Canon FE and Sony A fits, all three of which are available at MPB, ranging in price from £94 to £189, depending on condition.

Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro lens for close-ups

The first full-frame Z-series camera to offer dual card slots, the Nikon Z 5 features extremely good build quality and follows in the Z 6 and Z 7’s footsteps with excellent handling. It features a 24.3-million-pixel CMOS sensor and an ISO range of 100-51,200. When reviewed in AP, it was described as ‘a remarkably capable and reliable full-frame camera’. It can be bought at MPB for £1,099 in like-new condition.

nikon z5 for close-ups photography

There are vouchers for second and third places in each round, too, of £100 and £50 respectively, while the winner of the Youth category wins a voucher for £250.

Check out the website at to take your pick from thousands of items of second-hand gear.

apoy logo round four open

More information about Amateur Photographer of the Year can be found here: Amateur Photographer of the Year 2022

Related Articles:

Top 10 tips for better macro and close-up images

Getting close up with nature photography

Close-up tips from Two of a Kind CUPOTY Challenge winners

Behind the scenes of Close-up Photographer of the Year 03 Images

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