Loved-up squirrels win the Close-up Photographer of the Year competition
Close-up Photographer of the Year Challenge: Two of a Kind winners announced.
Dutch photographer Alex Pansier has won the 2021 Close-up Photographer of the Year Challenge: Two of a Kind with his heart-warming picture of a pair of European ground squirrels sharing a faded poppy on a lawn in Vienna. These animals are classified as vulnerable, mainly due to habitat loss and changes of land use in agriculture.
"I really enjoyed watching them working together, like father and son," explains Alex. "For me, observing and photographing nature is a great way to unwind and share the beauty that’s all around us."
The challenge runs throughout November, outside the annual competition of Close-up Photographer of the Year, and has a different theme each year. This time the challenge was to photograph two similar things - anything from a pair of animals to flowers.
While Alex took the top spot, British photographer Barry Webb took second place with his image of a pair of slime moulds. "Although these slime moulds are miniscule," said competition co-founder Tracy Calder, "Barry has transformed them into majestic trees making us wonder what else we pass by without noticing."
Two of a kind - Winner
Dysdercus Concinnus Coitus - Finalist
Harlequin shrimps - Finalist
The kiss - Finalist
Eating perch - Finalist
Blue Beauty Morning - Finalist
Sonchus Asper - Finalist
Two toads - Finalist
German Wasps - Finalist
The couple - Finalist
Bee together - Finalist
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Over the mineral world - Finalist
The pear-fect pair - Finalist
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Diderma Floriforme - Runner-up
Hey! What's that? - Finalist
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Mature Comatricha - Finalist
Leaves of lace - Finalist
Mushrooms in the spotlight - Finalist
James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs