Here we take a look at the top 30 macro images from APOY 2015 Round 5, Up Close




Here are results for the top 50 results for APOY 2015 Round 5, Up Close – Macro

Aaron Bennett from Hampshire is the winner of Round Five (macro plants, insects and arachnids) of APOY 2015, and wins a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro lens worth £1,000. The 150mm is a high-performance macro lens designed for full-frame cameras, but it may also be used with smaller APS-C size sensors with a corresponding effective increase in focal length to about 225mm with most cameras.

APOY 2015 Round 5, Up Close

Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS

The Sigma 150mm f/2.8 is a large-aperture medium telephoto macro lens that incorporates Sigma’s Optical Stabiliser technology. As the successor to the 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO Macro, which was introduced in October 2004, the new OS design offers the latest optical technology.

A floating focusing system moves two different lens groups in the optical path to different positions. This system compensates for astigmatic and spherical aberration, and provides extremely high optical performance from infinity to 1:1 macro. The focal length for this lens can be increased due to its compatibility with Sigma APOTele Converters.

Three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements provide excellent correction of all types of aberrations and the Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting. The Sigma 150mm f/2.8 has superior peripheral brightness and provides sharp, high-contrast images, even at the maximum apertures. The HSM ensures accurate, quiet, high-speed autofocusing, while the OS compensates for camera shake.

The combination of a long focal length (and thereby good working distance between lens and subject), high sharpness even at full aperture and optical image stabilisation make this lens perfect for catching dragonflies, butterflies and other elusive insects, even when you’re shooting handheld. However, the lens is also excellent for photographing plants or portraits when you want to achieve a soft and pleasant blurry background.

Our congratulations also go to Claire Willans from Durham who was second, and Lee Acaster, Suffolk who took third place.

APOY 2015 Round 5, Up Close

1st Aaron Bennett, Hampshire 50pts

1st Aaron Bennett, Hampshire 50pts

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 100mm, 1/640sec at f/4, ISO 640

When we first decided to include a macro round, we had no idea that this would be the kind of shot that would win. Often we associate macro images with standard – yet always beautiful – images of insects, spiders and plants. However, in Aaron’s highly atmospheric image we find that he has given us a shot that in the simplest way communicates, in his own words, ‘the immense power of nature’. The mighty thorns contrast perfectly with the delicate hairs that adorn the branch. It says a lot about the dual faces of nature. There’s a dark and moody atmosphere to the image that guarantees you’ll want to look at it again and again. It’s a great shot and more than deserves to take first place in this round.


APOY 2015 Round 5, Up Close

2nd Claire Willans, Durham 49pts

2nd Claire Willans, Durham 49pts

Nikon D800, 24-85mm, 0.8sec at f/4.35, ISO 100

In second place we have a softly lit and almost otherworldly shot of the fruit and husk from a plant from the Physalis genus, probably from a ground cherry species. Claire’s image was an instant standout for a number of the judges. There’s an ethereal quality to the shot that draws you in and keeps you engaged in an oddly dreamlike way. This picture shows what you can do with the right subject and the right light. The shallow depth of field has, in a very soft way, given the image a three-dimensional feel.


APOY 2015 Round 5, Up Close

3rd Lee Acaster, Suffolk, 48pts

3rd Lee Acaster, Suffolk, 48pts

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100mm, 1/100secs at f/2.8, ISO 100

Lee Acaster has scored well throughout this year’s APOY. He’s a photographer who has a natural affinity with the outdoors and a keen eye for those details many of us would miss. ‘I was shooting at Shingle Street in Suffolk to capture the sunrise when I noticed the delicate ice crystals on the frozen pebbles below catching the first light,’ says Lee of this shot. So many of us would choose to ignore these pebbles, but here Lee has shown there’s beauty to be found everywhere.

Here are the Top 50 entries for :

1 Aaron Bennett 50pts
2 Claire Willans 49pts
3 Lee Acaster 48pts
4 Tellache Meriem 47pts
5 Alison Lythgoe 46pts
6 Jevgenijs scolokovs 45pts
7 Chris Wood 44pts
8 Alexey Samoylenko 43pts
9 Steven Robinson 42pts
10 Graham Borthwick 41pts
11 Callan Stroud 40pts
12 Paul Henni 39pts
13 Paul Foster 38pts
14 Brian Mcdonnell 37pts
15 Mark Hamilton 36pts
16 Nicholas Smith 35pts
17 Val Lear 34pts
18 Sarah Fiona Helme 33pts
19 Sharon Repton 32pts
20 Malcolm Hay 31pts
21 Mike Martin 30pts
22 Csilla Szucs 29pts
23 John Hartshorne 28pts
24 Rory McDonald 27pts
25 Diogo Ferreira 26pts
26 Penny Halsall 25pts
27 Chris Williams 24pts
28 Chris Sweet 23pts
29 Adele Spencer 22pts
30 Neil Davies 21pts
31 Jo Oliver 20pts
32 Adonis Stevenson 19pts
33 Amanda Hawes 18pts
34 Des Lloyd 17pts
35 Graeme Youngson 16pts
36 Matt Emmett 15pts
37 Sam Gaunt 14pts
38 Andrew Fusek Peters 13pts
39 Ewan Richards 12pts
40 David Queenan 11pts
41 Des Gardner 10pts
42 Roger Evans 9pts
43 Hazel Byatt 8pts
44 Andrew J Ford 7pts
45 Derek Rutherford 6pts
46 AdrianMills 5pts
47 Bagus Wijanarko 4pts
48 David Fairhead 3pts
49 Andrew Williams 2pts
50 David Ball 1pt


See the winning entries in the APOY 2015 Gallery

The 2015 Leaderboard

Lee Acaster, who took third place in this round, remains in first place on the overall league table for APOY 2015. Graham Borthwick has moved up the board to second place, and in third place we find Penny Halsall who has moved down one position.

Position Name Points
1  Lee Acaster   191pts
2  Graham Borthwick   114pts
3  Penny Halsall   102pts
4  Adele Spencer   100pts
5  Aaron Bennett    97pts
5  Matt Emmett    97pts
7  Dave Stewart    96pts
8  David Queenan    94pts
9  Alexey Samoylenko    90pts
9  Chris Evans    90pts


APOY 2015

APOY 2015 Round 5, Up Close – Macro