APOY results, tenth round: close-ups


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December 14, 2021

Here are the top ten images uploaded to Photocrowd from Round Ten, Close-ups, with comments from AP and our guest judge, Tracy Calder.


Install a macro lens on your camera and you open up a whole new world of photographic possibilities and ways of seeing. Tiny insects suddenly become creatures that fill the frame, with every detail revealed, while flowers and plant life become studies of form, shadow, and form.

And you don’t even need a macro lens – close-up photography is just as possible with a standard lens, especially if you’re looking for more abstract compositions. There is something about the miniature world that makes us appreciate the details even more, as these ten exceptional images reveal. This is the last round of the APOY of this year.


APOY Round Ten: Top Ten

1. Henrik Spranz Austria 100pts

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 180mm, 1/250 s at f / 3.2, ISO 400

winner of the tenth round

Guest judge Tracy Calder said, “This image ticks all the right boxes for me: excellent field skills, beautifully balanced roster, superb technical ability and wonderful storytelling. The butterfly in the foreground is stunningly crisp, which works brilliantly against the soft, dreamy bokeh.

The bottom butterfly has enough detail that we know it is a cloudy second yellow, and the inclusion of the plant’s stems keeps the bugs from appearing to be floating in the air. The gap between the two butterflies is perfect and the way they face each other seems to imply that there is a silent exchange going on.

The image looks like a true celebration of this particular species – there are beautiful shapes and reflections in the frame, which make the butterflies look like stars on a large natural stage. It’s an absolutely beautiful image that makes me extremely jealous, it’s not mine! ‘


2. Sara Jazbar Italy 90pts

Nikon D700, 150mm, 1/80 sec at f / 16, ISO 200

apoy round ten sara jazbar

A macro shot so crisp it hardly looks real. There is of course a lot more to good macro photography than sharpness, and this is a great example of a classic close-up.

Capturing the butterfly perfectly from the side allows the viewer to fully appreciate the shape of its wings and antennae, the size of its almost cartoonish eye and, of course, the gorgeous combination of cream, black, blue and orange. The curly twig used as a perch adds interest, and the whole thing is beautifully highlighted by this stunning bokeh.


3. Nguyen Tan Tuan Vietnam 80pts

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 100mm, 1/180 s at f / 19, ISO 200

Nguyen Tan Tuan

The way this magnificent betta fish (also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish) has been so cleverly photographed makes it seem like it belongs on the Oscars red carpet or an episode of Strictly Come Dancing.

The low point of view, looking at the underside of the fish, gives us a new perspective, as we would usually expect to see such a creature from the side, and allows the viewer to appreciate the extraordinary “folds” and folds of its elaborate fins. . This imaginative capture allowed Nguyen Tan Tuan to climb to the top of the rankings and become the big winner of the APOY 2021. Bravo!


4. Kelly Stark UK 70pts

Fujifilm X-T2, 16-50mm at 23mm, 1/25 sec at f / 5, ISO 800

apoy around ten kelly stark

There are elemental forces at work here. The water makes its way through the rock, and Kelly thoughtfully composed, the stream flowing in a pronounced diagonal, all the way to the lower left corner of the frame, which adds dynamism to the scene and gives it a sense of speed. and emergency. .

Additionally, limpets take advantage of this notch, with its patterns resembling river deltas when viewed from above. The colors are beautiful and the level of detail is at the rendezvous.


5. Julie Tennant United Kingdom 60pts

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 100-400mm at 400mm, 1 / 500s at f / 5.6, ISO 100

Julie tennant

Capturing an element of behavior can really elevate an image of wildlife from something quite ordinary to something far more memorable. Here, the chipmunk happily nibbles on grass, clearly undisturbed by the photographer.

The colors are fabulous and the reflection and sharpness in the eye are perfect. We particularly like the diagonal of the grass stem and the vertical stripe of the second piece of grass on the left, which gives just the right amount of context on the very nicely blurred background. A portrait full of character and pleasant.


6. Molly Hollman UK 50 points

Sony RX10 III, 8.8-220mm at 168mm, 1/160 s at f / 5, ISO 320

apoy around ten molly hollman

Some flowers simply ask to be studied in close-up, and nigella – or love in the mist – is one of them. Molly did an amazing job drawing our attention to the tutu shape of the petals and stamens, and picked the right angle to frame it with the delicate green bracts.

Luckily, the background was provided by her son, whose T-shirt provided the perfect complement to the flower. Molly spotted her potential as her son walked past, demonstrating a well-tuned and responsive photographer’s eye.


7. Sara Jazbar Italy 45pts

Nikon D500, 150mm, 1/30 sec at f / 9, ISO 320

Sara admits that this lovely photo was staged, but oddly enough, it’s not actually a composite. Shot early one morning, while the ladybug was still numb, she managed to create an unusual and eye-catching image.

Placing the ladybug at the base of the seed’s head makes it appear as if it is taking off on an adventure – the backdrop of the blue sky and its puffy clouds only emphasize “the story.”

Placing the bug down to the left is the perfect way to compose such a deceptively simple shot. Sara would like to point out that the ladybug was free to fly away as soon as the temperature rose.


8. Henrik Spranz Austria 40pts

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 180mm, 1/60 s at f / 3.5, ISO 250

Another stunning image from Henrik, who made the romantic depiction of insects and flowers close-up his very recognizable signature. The images are all the stronger when we learn that everything is captured behind closed doors.

He says he loves to express the tenderness and fragility of dragonflies in his pictures, and he has done it beautifully with this photo. The focus is amazing, with the tip placed right on the dragonfly’s head, and the crispness of its fragile wings falling within millimeters. A magical shot that commands attention.


9. Adam Neuba Germany 35pts

Nikon D850, 60mm macro, 1/25 sec at f / 9, ISO 320

Adam’s minimal and beautifully constructed shot stands out for being entirely unlike any other image in the top ten, and shows that close-up photography doesn’t start and end with nature shots in situ.

His goal was to draw attention to the centipede’s “armor”, and he did so very skillfully, the light picking up on the stripes created by each section and giving it real depth. The stainless steel backdrop should be shocking, but it isn’t, and it serves to highlight the star of the show. The excellent composition and the lighting bring it all together.


10. Fabio Sartori Italy 30pts

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, 45mm, 1/125 s at f / 5, ISO 200

A fantastic shot that gives us a new look at the insect in its environment. The contrast between the insect’s emerald green and its almost pure white surroundings is stunning, while still managing to compose so that we can see its two eyes on either side of two strands shows remarkable skill and observation.

Placing the insect in the center gives it all the more impact, and by filling the rest of the frame with the dew-covered seed heads, Fabio has created an almost feeling of confinement.


Winner of the tenth round of APOY youth

Gustav Parenmark Sweden 100pts

Nikon D750, 90mm macro with Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro, 1/200 s at f / 11, ISO 200

young winner of the tenth round

The positioning of the lacewing at the bottom right of the composition works wonderfully here, as does the striking color combination. The damage to the insect’s antenna makes no difference to the impact of the image – in fact, it means that it is a living creature breathing,
with all its flaws and scars. Beautifully observed and expertly captured.


Camera club competition

Chris Robbins, United Kingdom 10 points

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 50mm, 1/125 s at f / 16, ISO 100

camera club apoy tenth round winner

The simplicity of including just two colors in this frame, along with the sensible use of negative space, is what makes this image eye-catching. As a shortlisted image, she earns Chris Robbins 10 points, but perhaps more importantly, she helps the Launceston Camera Club – of which Chris is a member – to a smashing victory in this APOY category (see right ).

By encouraging as many members as possible to participate consistently throughout the contest, they have accumulated points in each of the
all ten rounds, giving a 270-point lead over second-ranked club Bristol Photographic Society. Congratulations!


2021 rankings

After ten stunning laps full of inspiring and creative photography, we have our final results rankings for APOY 2021. Nguyen Tan Tuan snuck in the lead to win the overall competition, while Young APOY resulted in a tie in the battle between Muhammad Hossain and Lucy Monckton.

The Camera Clubs category has been more than convincing thanks to the impressive group efforts of the Launceston Camera Club. In this round, as Sara Jazbar and Henrik Spranz each have two images in the top ten, only their top rated image scores points.

Congratulations to everyone who entered this year’s competition.


MPB Winning Kit

The equipment used by our winners can be found at MPB. Sara Jazbar took her second photo using the Nikon D700. Released in 2008, this versatile camera features a 12.1-megapixel full-frame sensor, solid build quality, and a shooting speed of 5 fps. A camera still worth considering today, the D700 can be picked up at MPB for between £ 159 and £ 314, depending on the state.

nikon d700

Taking third place, Nguyen Tan Tuan photographed his captivating image using a Canon EF100mm f / 2.8L Macro IS USM. This superb macro lens features a true macro magnification ratio of 1: 1, or life size, and what Canon calls a hybrid image stabilizer system.

This is designed to counter not only “normal” shake, but also lens shift, which is usually a problem with extreme close-up shots. This lens is available from MPB for £ 724 in new condition, or £ 604 in good condition.

100mm macro cannon

Coming in sixth place, Molly Hollman photographed this elegant love flower head in the mist with a Sony RX10 III. The main feature of this high-end bridge camera is its Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T * equivalent 24-600mm f / 2.4-4 zoom lens.

sony rx10 iii

It is capable of a minimum focusing distance of around 3cm at its widest end and 72cm at its longest end, and has a 20.1 MP sensor, as well as an ISO range of 100 to 12,800. Find one at MPB for anything between £ 724 and £ 824.

To browse the wide range of stocks at MPB, visit www.mpb.com


Further reading

APOY Results Round Ninth: Street

APOY Round 8 Results: Travel

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