Salamanders Eaten by a Pitcher Plant Wins Close-Up Photo of the Year

Photography News
Nature’s Pitfall | Overall winner, Animals Category Winner | © Samantha Stephens
, cupoty.com

A photo of two salamanders being consumed by a carnivorous pitcher plant has won the fourth annual Close-Up Photographer of the Year competition.

The competition, which is supported by Affinity Photo, saw more than 9,000 entries from 54 countries this year across 11 categories: Animals, Insects, Plants, Fungi, Intimate Landscape, Underwater, Butterflies & Insects, Invertebrate Portrait, Manmade, Micro (for images created using a microscope), and Young Close-up Photographer of the Year (for entrants aged 17 or under).

Those that particularly stood out to the judges among the winners were Anirban Dutta’s picture of termites under attack from a drongo (Insects winner), a tiny jellyfish that appears to walk on its “hands” by Viktor Lyagushkin (Underwater winner), and a spider that mimics bird poo by Jamie Hall (Invertebrate Portrait winner).

But Canadian photographer Samantha Stephens captured the overall winning photo above, which was also the top pick in the Animals category, in Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada.

“Northern Pitcher Plants normally feast on moths and flies but researchers at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station recently discovered a surprising new item on the plant’s menu: juvenile Spotted Salamanders,” she says.

“While following researchers on their daily surveys I saw a pitcher with two salamanders floating at the surface of the pitcher’s fluid, both at the same stage of decay. I knew it was a special and fleeting moment. The next day, both salamanders had sunk to the bottom of the pitcher.”

Below are the winners from the remaining 10 categories.

Insects

Close-Up Photo of the Year
Intruder | © Anirban Dutta, cupoty.com

Plants

Close-Up Photo of the Year
Next To My Tree | © Sébastien Blomme, cupoty.com

Fungi

Close-Up Photo of the Year
Ice Encrusted Comatricha | © Barry Webb, cupoty.com

Intimate Landscape

Close-Up Photo of the Year
Frequency | © Mike Curry, cupoty.com

Underwater

Close-Up Photo of the Year
Little Predator | © Viktor Lyagushkin, cupoty.com

Butterflies & Insects

Close-Up Photo of the Year
Veiled | © Wim Vooijs, cupoty.com

Invertebrate Portrait

Close-Up Photo of the Year
Mayan Derriere | © Jamie Hall, cupoty.com

Manmade

Close-Up Photo of the Year
Oil & Water 44 | © Matt Vacca, cupoty.com

Micro

Close-Up Photo of the Year
Batrachospermum Red Algae | © Marek Miś, cupoty.com

Young Close-up Photographer of the Year

Close-Up Photo of the Year
Hemitrichia Calyculata | © Nathan Benstead, cupoty.com

All these winners as well as the second place, third place, and runners-up in all categories (the top 100 entries) can be found on the Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2022 website.


Image credits: All photos are individually credited and provided courtesy of the Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2022.

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