The 2023 round of the Close-up Photographer of the Year competition (CUPOTY), in association with Affinity Photo and a range of other sponsors, is now open for entries.

You have until 9th July to enter the competition and be in with a chance of winning £2,500 cash for the overall winner, a trophy, a universal license for three Affinity apps (Photo, Designer, Publisher), a NiSi macro focusing rail, a NiSi macro close-up lens and the CUPOTY winner title.

Close-up and macro photography is a fascinating genre, so if you are inspired to enter CUPOTY, check out our get-started guide to macro photography, macro flower tips and macro photography lighting advice.

CUPOTY 2022 winner Samantha Stephens

Samantha Stephens won last year’s contest with this image Nature’s Pitfall. Image credit: CUPOTY

‘Close-up Photographer of the Year is an annual competition revealing the hidden wonders of the world via close-up, macro and micro photography,’ explains co-founder and regular AP contributor, Tracy Calder. ‘The competition is open to anyone of any age from any country using any camera, phone or microscope to make images.’

Close-up Photographer of the Year categories

  • Animals
  • Insects
  • Butterflies & Dragonflies
  • Underwater
  • Invertebrate Portrait
  • Plants
  • Fungi & Slime Moulds
  • Intimate Landscape
  • Human Made
  • Micro (for images made with a microscope).

There is also the Young CUPOTY award for entrants aged 17 or under.

‘This year the total prize fund has been boosted to more than £7,600, with each category winner taking home £250, plus a universal license for all three Affinity apps,’ Tracy added. ‘The Young Close-up Photographer of the Year will also receive a Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN MACRO Art lens, a universal license for three Affinity apps and a trophy.’

CPOTY young photographer of the year

Nathan Benstead was named the last Young Close-up Photographer of the Year with this image, Hemitrichia Calyculata. Image credit: CUPOTY

The Top 100 images selected by the jury will appear in the winner’s gallery as a permanent exhibition on the CUPOTY website. These images will be seen by millions of people around the world through newspapers, magazines, websites and social media.

The judging panel for this year’s CUPOTY includes AP editor Nigel Atherton, Karine Aigner, the current winner of Wildlife Photographer of the Year, top landscape photographer and AP contributor Guy Edwardes, flower photography specialist Sue Bishop, and numerous other experts in the field.

Emmanuel Graindépice, CUPOTY

Emmanuel Graindépice was also a finalist with this image, Beautiful Blue and Golden Spots. Image credit: CUPOTY

Last year the competition attracted more than 9,000 entries, from 52 countries. The final closing date is July 16th, with an Early Bird deadline of May 31st that enables you to save 10% on entry fees. Here are full details and entry information

Further reading
Get started with macro photography
Best close-up photographs
Best value macro lenses for mirrorless and DSLR
How to take great macro photos on a smartphone
Best photography competitions to enter in 2023