I feel very honored that one of my images found its moment in the spotlight at the 2023 Close Up Photographer of the Year competition (CUPOTY) in the "Intimate Landscape" category. Amongst a staggering influx of nearly 12,000 submissions from 67 countries, I captured an image that made it into the prestigious Top 100.
As one of the fortunate few to be recognized among the Top 100, the honor extends beyond personal achievement. It is a celebration of the artistry of close-up photography and the shared appreciation for the little things. The chosen image was almost a by-product as I went out in the fall to collect some subjects for my long-term project, "Botanical Studies." My hometown is located very close to the Hainich National Park and in a region with a lot of forests. In autumn, it's a festival of colors, and later in the season, you can find leaves in all kinds of stages—from still in full color to almost rotting. Most of the very colorful leaves have already lost their colors and turned brown, but here and there, you could find something different-looking. It's fascinating how even the water droplets have different colors on different parts of the leaf—in the dark parts, they almost have a copper tint.
Respect and congratulations to all the other winners who made it into the Top 100 and showcased their incredible talent in this competition. To be acknowledged on such a scale is both humbling and invigorating. It fuels the passion to delve deeper into the intricate tapestry of close-up photography, to continue uncovering the sublime details that often escape casual observation.
The competition has not only been a showcase of talent but also a source of inspiration to push the boundaries of creativity further.