It’s truly a shame that our eyes are limited to seeing the world in a very specific human way. Sure, we should be happy that we have opposable thumbs and are capable of an advanced and complex thought process as compared to most other species, but wouldn’t it also be nice to have something like super macro vision so that we could see things super up close?
Well, until our eyes evolve into something like that, we are stuck with relying on technology. Speaking of which, the International Garden Photographer Of The Year competition has announced this year’s winners for the Macro Art photography contest.
The Macro Art contest encapsulates tiny moments of beauty in gardens around the globe. The pictures are lush with color, showcasing the natural world that surrounds us from a magnified perspective. Bugs, flowers, leaves, you name it, it’s there, up close and personal.
This year’s first prize winner is Bruno Militelli from São Paulo, Brazil, who’s the man behind the “Botanic Loop”, a black and white photograph of swirly passion fruit tendril. Second and third place prizes went out to Anne Macintyre for her “Mountains of Tulip Petals” and Zhang Ye Fei for “Shepherd's Purse Seed” respectively.
Bored Panda has gathered all of the winners, finalists, and those commended in the competition for your viewing pleasure. Check out the photos in the list below, and while you’re down there, why not vote and comment on the ones you liked the most!
1st Place, 'Botanic Loop' By Bruno Militelli
"The spiral-shaped filiform structure of the Passiflora (passion fruit) tendrils are an important specialised botanic feature. They are used by climbers like claws to affix themselves for support and provide a stable place to grow and flower."
2nd Place, 'Mountains Of Tulip Petals' By Anne Macintyre
"When the tulip petals all fell off the flower they still looked beautiful; such lovely colours and texture abound - so i laid them out and took a photo of them, they resembled little coloured mountains."
3rd Place, 'Shepherd's Purse Seed' By Zhang Ye Fei
"Although classified as a common annual weed, I used a macro lens to reveal the delicate beauty of Capsella bursa-pastoris seed pods– known commonly as shepherd’s purse. Being part of the Brassica family its seeds are edible and are consumed across Asia."
Finalist, 'Rainbow Lily' By Ecaterina Leonte
"I used spectral light coming from a prism to bathe this Lilium (lily) flower in the full colours of the rainbow. Like many photographers I initially struggled to be creative during the COVID-19 lockdown. I convinced myself that home confinement was incompatible with a creative life but as the weeks went by I proved myself wrong. I used a prism and the sunny days of spring to look at flowers under (literally) a different light."
Finalist, 'The Presence' By Peter Pullan
"I developed this photograph of the bark of a Eucalyptus tree trunk in post-processing to reveal an intriguing and original abstract macro artwork."
Finalist, 'Flying Wishes' By Kristina Zvinakeviciute
"I created this original artwork by photographing a dandelion seed head in natural sunlight (handheld) using my macro lens, I then used Adobe Photoshop to achieve the desired artistic look."
Finalist, 'Vortex Blossom' By Bruno Militelli
"For this macro photograph of an Abutilon flower, I used a frontal perspective to capture the beauty of the perfect, circular symmetry formed by the pattern of the coiled petals."
Highly Commended, 'Common Blues On Apple Mint' By Tony North
"I photographed these two Polyommatus icarus (common blue) butterflies at rest on this Mentha (apple mint) flower head in Derbyshire’s first dedicated butterfly nature reserve."
Highly Commended, 'Peep Through The Window' By Minghui Yuan
"I found this South China tree toad (Annam tree frog) at rest on the foliage of plants in the forest. I watched from underneath through the holes in the leaves, and I focused on the head of the amphibian, which was gazing into the surrounding environment. It's like nature provided a window for me in this exact moment, so I could see into the frog’s world."
Highly Commended, 'On The Look Out' By Christine Blanchin Dos Santos
"A brown praying mantis in my garden - whose improbable alien look I emphasised by matching its slender curves with the curves of the plant."
Highly Commended, 'Silver-Studded Blues On Heather' By Qasim Syed
"I photographed female and male Plebejus argus (silver-studded blue) butterflies at rest on heather flowers. They are one of my favourite butterfly species due to the amazing and intricate wing patterns with the individual colours to complement each sex. I used focus stacking to blur out the heavy background and bring out the detail of the subjects."
Highly Commended, 'Jewels' By Wei Fu
"I spotted this tiny scene and used my macro lens to photograph this jewel bug (metallic shield bug) exploring an open seed pod."
Highly Commended, 'The Hunter' By Rob Blanken
"I used my long-barrelled macro lens to capture this spider on its web, waiting; as the patient hunter for any vibration - to inform it that its prey had arrived."
Highly Commended, 'Posing' By Barbora Polivkova
"I spotted this tiny glass frog on a flower in the rainforest, which looked like it was posing; I liked the contrast of colours - making the frog more visible and showing its size in scale."
Highly Commended, 'Leaf Structure' By Dinah Jayes
"I photographed this leaf structure handheld and naturally backlit by the sun; the conditions at Hampton Court that day were very hot."
Highly Commended, 'Enigma Rubra' By Peter Pullan
"This photograph of a knot in the bark of a Eucalyptus tree has been developed to reveal an abstract artwork."
Highly Commended, 'Butterfly Wing V' By Petar Sabol
"I found a sleeping butterfly in the early morning and took the chance to capture some extreme macro shots of its wings. Top achieve this, I used an ultra macro lens at around 5:1 magnification. The result is a very detailed and intriguing image, rich in colour, shapes and textures of tiny scales that are covering the wings. I am always amazed by nature, especially when such beautiful details can be explored through macro photography."
Highly Commended, 'Camassia After The Rain' By Marie Phelan
"To create this artistic photograph, I first used a normal glass-fronted photo frame and placed it on a glass-topped table. Into this I splashed some water and oil, and touches of watercolour paint and under the table I put one of my hand painted backgrounds. I then positioned a glass bowl with a blue rim on top of the background; I did this to offer a shape to echo the curve of the flower, then I carefully placed the rain-drenched Camassia onto the photo frame 'dish'."
Highly Commended, 'You Can Leave Your Hat On' By Ingeborg Hartgerink-Grandia
"I received a bouquet with all sorts of Allium flowers in it, including two leek flower buds. One of these flower buds burst open leaving its 'hat' on and I just had to capture it like that. The bouquet was in front of our chimney, the slightly stained-looking background is the marble stone of the chimney. I lightened the background and gave the image a slightly brighter vignette to keep the attention on the flower bud; I wanted to achieve a botanical feel to the image."
Highly Commended, 'Wild Carrot Flowers In The Late Afternoon' By Rachele Z. Cecchini
"During a sunny afternoon in Salzburg, I photographed these wild carrot flowers in my garden; they grew very high this year, more than 2 metres tall. I managed to get some in both the foreground and background and discovered that the sun had created a beautiful bokeh as it backlit the flower heads."