On Thursday, the inaugural Luminar Bug Photography Awards announced its winners. The winning images, which render insects in exquisite detail, bring a whole new meaning to the term “close-up.”
Mofeed Abu Shalwa, a professional photographer from Saudi Arabia, won the grand prize, earning the title of “Luminar Bug Photographer of the Year 2020” as well as £2,500, or about $3,300, in prize money and other prizes worth over $2,500. Shalwa’s vivid images of insects are so fascinating that you might forget your fear of bugs, and indeed Shalwa started photographing insects 10 years ago to cope with a childhood insect phobia.
The contest, put on in association with photo-editing software Luminar and UK conservation organization Buglife, also crowned 17-year-old Jamie Spensley as “Luminar Young Bug Photographer of the Year 2020.” Spensley’s prize-winning image of a carder bee is frankly startling in its detail.
The contest also named first, second, and third place winners for different categories, like “aquatic bugs,” or invertebrates that live in the water, as well as arachnids like spiders, beetles, and butterflies.
The bugs have never looked so good.
You can find the complete list of winners and their photographs here.