The mind-bending winners of the 2020 Macro Art Photo Awards offer a surreal assortment of images. From a close-up of tree bark made to resemble landscape drone photography, to some glimpses of mischievous tree frogs, this macro photography contest is an annual highlight for fans of tiny things made large.
The Macro Art Photo Awards are part of the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, an annual global search for the best in garden, plant, flower and botanical photography. The primary competition is still open for entries but there are several annual smaller sub-contests including Black And White, Still Life, and Macro awards.
“Macro photography demands not just spot on technique but a highly creative outlook that broadens the way you approach subjects,” the contest guidelines suggest. “It’s also an opportunity to get artistic, bold, bright and really carve out your own style.”
This year’s top prize went to Brazilian photographer Bruno Militelli. Titled Botanic Loop, Militelli’s winning shot focused on the incredible spiral-shaped filiform structure of the passion fruit plant. The beautiful image captures an almost artificial precision in this impressive natural feature.
Other highlights from the commended and finalist list include a pair of surreal photographs from Australian photographer Peter Pullan. On first inspection, both of Pullan’s shots resemble abstract aerial landscape images. However it turns out these images are actually macro views of Eucalyptus tree bark.
Minghui Yuan’s perspective on a tiny tree frog presents an impeccably timed snap of this amphibian through a hole in a leaf.
“I found this South China tree toad at rest on the foliage of plants in the forest,” says Yuan. “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.”