Well, every competition needs rules.


  1. The Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY) competition (‘the Competition’) is open to everyone except those working for CUPOTY (‘the Organisers’) and the Judges (including their families and relatives). Employees of sponsors who have not been directly involved in the organisation of the Competition may enter.

  2. By paying to enter the Competition you agree to abide by the following rules (‘Rules’).

  3. The Competition is open to all professional and amateur photographers of any nationality.

  4. All entries must be submitted in a digital format. This may be a photograph captured with a digital camera or a high-quality scan from a transparency or negative.

  5. Entrants to the competition must be aged 18 or over on February 10th 2019 (the original closing date). Entrants aged 17 or under on February 10th 2019 should enter Young CUPOTY.

    Closing date

  6. The Competition closes on February 28th 2019 at 11:59PM GMT (‘the Closing Date’), after which you will no longer be able to pay for entry. Images for entry can continue to be sent to CUPOTY for another 7 days after this deadline.

    Entry requirements

  7. All images entered in the Competition must be close-up, macro or taken with a microscope. The final decision as to whether an image fits this requirement will be down to the Judges. Guidance is provided in the FAQ but if you are unsure, please email a low-res image to before entering.

  8. Any type of camera may be used to capture an image for the Competition, including a mobile phone. Images for the Micro category may use any type of microscope and employ any technique. There is no time limit to when the images were taken, pictures may be entered from any year.

  9. Black and white, tinted, HDR, square, stitched panoramic, focus stacked and multi-exposed photographs are all acceptable. Diptychs, triptychs and polyptychs will be accepted if they are submitted as a single image.

  10. Digital manipulation is allowed except when claiming an artificial subject to be natural. All shortlisted entrants will be required to declare the extent of any post-processing techniques or digital manipulation used and cannot claim a subject to be unmanipulated if it has been.

  11. No animals should be harmed or distressed, nor any habitat damaged in pursuit of an image for the competition. Pictures of historical specimens are allowed, as are images captured as a result of genuine scientific research.


  12. Entrants aged 18 or over on February 10th 2019 may enter the following five categories:


    Plants & fungi

    Intimate landscape



  13. Images captured with a microscope must be entered into the Micro category. All other images should be entered into Animals, Plants & fungi, Intimate landscape or Manmade categories.

  14. Up to 30 images per adult entrant may be submitted across the five categories. For example, you may enter 5 in Animals, 12 in Plants & fungi, 8 in Intimate landscape and 5 in Manmade or you may enter all 30 in Plants & fungi.

  15. The overall winner of Close-up Photographer of the Year will be the person whose image is selected as the best by the Judges from the five 18 or over category winners.

  16. Entrants aged 17 or under on February 10th 2019 may enter Young CUPOTY. Up to 15 images per entrant may be submitted on any subject. Please seek permission from your parent or guardian before entering the Competition as your parent or guardian will need to complete the payment process, and claim any prize on your behalf.

  17. The overall winner of Young CUPOTY will be the person whose image is selected as the best by the Judges. Young CUPOTY entrants cannot win the overall CUPOTY prize.

  18. Shortlisted entrants to Close-up Photographer of the Year and Young CUPOTY may be asked by the Organisers to prove their age.

    Entry fees

  19. Entry to the Competition is subject to the payment of an entry fee.

  20. The payment of entry fees can be made by any means specified on (‘the Site’).

  21. Payment must be made in British Pounds (GBP), or your local denominated currency via credit card, debit card or PayPal. The exchange rate applied between British Pounds and other currencies will be decided by the banking system or PayPal at the time of purchase.

  22. The entry fees for entrants aged 18 or over on February 10th 2019 are as follows:

    £10 – 1 image

    £20 – Up to 5 images

    £30 – Up to 15 images

    £40 – Up to 30 images

  23. The entry fee for Young CUPOTY entrants aged 17 or under on February 10th 2019 is:

    £5 – Up to 15 images

  24. Entry fees for Young CUPOTY must be paid online (by debit card, credit card, or PayPal) by the entrant’s parent or guardian. Paying for the entry will be seen as granting permission for the entry to be made.


  25. Images entered into the Competition cannot be withdrawn unless the Organisers are notified of a permissions problem, in which case if the Organisers are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to justify withdrawal the images will be withdrawn but no refund will be payable.

  26. If you submit fewer images, or no images at all, than originally paid for then you will not be entitled to a refund. Credits are not carried over to future competitions and cannot be used after the Closing Date.

  27. If you feel you are entitled to a refund for any reason, please contact We will consider all applications individually and reserve the right to decline any refund for any reason. If a refund is approved, it will be credited to the card you made payment with or your PayPal account. You will receive a full refund minus any gateway processing costs.

  28. CUPOTY reserves the right to modify, cancel or terminate the Competition given unforeseen circumstances beyond its control. These may include, but are not restricted to computer viruses, technical equipment failure or the denial of third party services that may affect the integrity and fairness of the Competition. If such an event results in cancellation or termination prior to the closing date, CUPOTY will make all reasonable efforts to refund any entry fees already received.

    Image file requirements

  29. Initial entry to the Competition requires low-resolution image files to be sent via the Site’s WeTransfer page, which you can find here.

  30. The format should be JPEG at 1280 pixels along the longest length and no bigger than 5MB in size. Files should be in the sRGB colour space. No watermarks, borders or signatures should be included. Images must not be zipped or in a folder. When resizing your pictures, please make sure you do not overwrite your original file.

  31. Extra information about the photograph may be added to the file’s metadata using the Caption or Description box on image editing software. Though not essential, this information allows you to deepen the judges understanding of the picture by explaining what the subject is, as well as where, when and how it was taken.

  32. The EXIF data of the image should be kept intact (e.g. exposure, camera, lens etc).

  33. Please rename your files for uploading in the following order, separated by hyphens:

    Category-Surname-Forename-A short picture title

    e.g. animals-smith-john-zebra-fur.jpg

    Each image will be given a unique identifying number for anonymous judging.

  34. Once your image is 100% transferred by WeTransfer it is entered into the Competition and counts as one entry. It cannot be retrieved or swapped for another image.

  35. No digital files will be returned.

  36. Please ensure you have a copy of the files entered into the Competition. CUPOTY will take all reasonable steps to ensure the safe storage and backup of entries, but cannot be held responsible for exceptional circumstances including Acts of God.

  37. No responsibility can be taken by the Organisers for images that are incorrectly submitted.


  38. A panel of photography experts (‘the Judges’) will assess the entries and a shortlist will be announced following the Closing Date.

  39. CUPOTY reserves the right to move any image into a different category at any time during the Competition or judging.

  40. Shortlisted entrants will be notified in strict confidence by email. It is a condition of entry that the entrant does not disclose the details of any shortlisted or winning entries to any third party.

  41. Shortlisted photographers will have 14 days, unless agreed otherwise, to supply a high-resolution version of the shortlisted image to the Organisers. The file must match the colour and cropping of the low-resolution JPEG originally submitted at entry. A detailed description and technical information must also be supplied. The Organisers may also request the original unedited file to check the degree of post-processing and manipulation.

  42. Failure to produce a high-resolution file within the designated time period could result in disqualification. Should you be unable to supply the information by the cut-off point but contact CUPOTY to let the Organisers know within the 14-day period, CUPOTY reserves the right to grant an additional time period to the entrant based on the specific circumstances. Any extension is at the sole discretion of CUPOTY.

  43. CUPOTY cannot be held responsible for emails that do not arrive due to the entrant’s email security settings or restrictions placed by their Internet service provider. Adding to your email contacts should stop this from happening.

  44. The decision of the Judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

  45. In the unlikely event of entries in any category falling below the standard required by CUPOTY and the Judges, CUPOTY reserves the right not to award prizes.

  46. The winners will be notified by email and publicly announced shortly after the Competition has closed and the judging process is complete.


  47. The overall winner (aged 18 or over on February 10th 2019), chosen from the five category winners, will win £1,000, a SIGMA 70mm MACRO Art lens, SIGMA dp Quattro camera and be named Close-up Photographer of the Year.

  48. The winner (aged 18 or over on February 10th 2019) of each category will win £300.

  49. The winner of Young CUPOTY (aged 17 or under on February 10th 2019) will win a Sigma 70mm MACRO Art lens and be named Young Close-up Photographer of the Year.

  50. CUPOTY may publish a book and stage an exhibition of the competition entries, but this will be executed at the discretion of CUPOTY.

  51. All monetary prizes will be paid in British Pounds (GBP). Payments to overseas entrants will be made using the exchange rate determined by the banking system on the payment date.

  52. If you receive prize money from CUPOTY, it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the tax obligations of your country of residence. CUPOTY accepts no liability for any failure by an entrant in this regard.

  53. CUPOTY reserves the right to change prizes to ones of comparable or greater value if required by unforeseen circumstances. Any such changes will be posted on the Site. Prizes are not transferable and no cash equivalent will be available for non-cash prizes.

  54. If any winner is unable to be contacted after reasonable attempts have been made, CUPOTY reserves the right to offer the prize to another entrant.

  55. Additional prizes that may be supplied by sponsors and supporters are the responsibility of their supporting companies and CUPOTY is not liable for any difficulties that may arise in relation to these specific awards.

  56. It is the responsibility of entrants from outside the UK to ensure that their country of residence allows the payment of any prize money that is won. CUPOTY reserves the right to withhold payments that are prohibited by law and no alternative prize can be offered.


  57. You agree that, if your entry is shortlisted by the Judges, you will participate in related publicity and agree to the use of your name and likeness for the purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity of the Competition without additional compensation.

    Copyright and permissions

  58. By submitting images to CUPOTY, you confirm and warrant that for each image submitted:

    a) you are the sole author of each entry and that it is your original work;

    b) if there is more than one author, you have the right to enter the image on behalf of the other parties;

    c) you own the copyright and any other intellectual property rights of each image;

    d) you have the permission of anyone recognisably pictured in the image (or, where the image shows any persons under 16, the consent of their parent or guardian) for the usage rights required by CUPOTY;

    e) you have not licensed or disposed of any rights in the image that would conflict with uses to be made by CUPOTY;

    f) you have received any necessary permissions from the owner(s) of objects including property included in submitted images for the usage rights required by CUPOTY; and

    g) you will be responsible for any claim by any third party in respect of your entry and to fully indemnify CUPOTY and its sponsors in respect of all royalties, fees and any other monies owing to any person or entity by reason of your breaching any of the foregoing.

  59. CUPOTY respects your rights and does not claim copyright for pictures you submit to the Competition, you will retain full copyright for each entry.

  60. CUPOTY will make every reasonable effort to ensure that name credits are given to any photograph published in any medium. You agree that CUPOTY will not be liable if the credit is omitted.

  61. By entering the competition, you grant CUPOTY and its sponsors and supporters a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free licence to display, reproduce, adapt and publish, by any means, in any media, throughout the world, any winning or shortlisted images for any purpose directly connected with the competition. This may include, but is not limited to:

    a) inclusion on the Site and on the websites of sponsors and supporters;

    b) inclusion in associated books, calendars, posters and cards — both print and digital;

    c) display at any CUPOTY exhibitions or awards ceremony;

    d) sub-licensing the entries to the press for reproduction in connection with the Competition and any related exhibition;

    e) on social media used by CUPOTY, its sponsors and supporters;

    f) inclusion in future publications and websites promoting CUPOTY;

    g) judging the Competition.

  62. Should any use of the image beyond those needed to promote the Competition arise, permission will be sought from you in advance with terms and conditions to be agreed on by all parties.

  63. Winning and shortlisted images will be used to promote the competition for a period of three years from the announcement of the winners. Winning or shortlisted images may also be held in a Competition Winners Archive on the Site, in perpetuity, so the public can see any winning or shortlisted entries from previous years.


  64. CUPOTY cannot accept liability for any loss, damage, injury or disappointment incurred as a result of participation in, or other involvement with, the Competition.

  65. CUPOTY cannot be held responsible for damage to any computers or other technical equipment relating to, or resulting from participation in the Competition or from the download of materials connected to the Competition.


  66. CUPOTY reserves the right to amend the Rules without prior notice. Any such changes will be published on the Site. It is your responsibility to check regularly to make sure you are aware of any alterations and amendments.

  67. Any breach of these Rules by you will void your entry and you will be liable to CUPOTY and their sponsors, supporters and licensees for damages and losses suffered as a result of the breach. Acting reasonably, CUPOTY reserves the right to waive a breach of the Rules, at its sole discretion. If a breach has occurred, but is discovered after the award of a prize, we may require the return of that prize.

  68. These Rules and the relationship between you and CUPOTY shall be governed by English law. Only the English language version of these rules shall prevail and be enforceable.

    The rules were last updated on 5th February 2019.