In Pictures

Close-up winners of the International Garden Photographer of the Year

The Macro Art Photo Project, which specialises in close-up creative images, has announced its 2018 winners, with entries from Croatia, China, the Netherlands, Slovakia, USA, Spain, Russia, Ireland and the UK.

This year's overall winner was Petar Sabol from Gorican, Croatia, with his image Mayflies.

Two mayflies perched on a plant stem Image copyright Petar Sabol

Mr Sabol said: "The gorgeous, enriching light of a new day covered this pair of mayflies, basking on a backlit Papaver [poppy]."

The photographer's work will feature at an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, west London, in February 2019.

Take a look at some of the other winners and commended photos from the close-up competition.

Second place, Salad Burnet Flower, by Ian Gilmour, West Yorkshire

A stem with a bud sprouting small yellow and red flowers Image copyright Ian Gilmour

Ian Gilmour said: "It is only with a macro lens that the true beauty of these tiny flowers of Sanguisorba minor can be appreciated."

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Third place, Unfurling, by Ashley Moore, Kings Canyon National Park, California

A green stem with buds sprouting white flowers Image copyright Ashley Moore

Ashley Moore said: "At dusk, the gentle sunlight highlighted the densely coiled inflorescence of this Phacelia. At first glance, one might suspect they were caterpillars."

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Finalist, Bodhi Leaf, by Lotte Gronkjaer-Funch, Copenhagen

A close up of the detail of a leaf Image copyright Lotte Grønkjær-Funch

Lotte Gronkjaer-Funch said: "I purchased this bodhi leaf [Ficus religiosa] from my local flower shop and used a calla lily placed behind the leaf to form the rich emanating colours."

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Finalist, Jumping Spider, by Richard Kubica, Myjava, Slovakia

A hairy spider looking at the camera Image copyright Richard Kubica

Richard Kubica said: "I used a macro lens plus a magnifier and focus stacking to reveal the full details of this amazing little predator."

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Finalist, Anemone de Caen, by Jacky Parker, Buckinghamshire

A white poppy Image copyright Jacky Parker

Jacky Parker said: "This image is a creative edit of the beautiful spring flowering white Anemone coronaria flower, also known as the poppy anemone, Spanish marigold, or windflower."

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Finalist, Common Spotted Orchid, by Nigel Burkitt, Berkshire

A plant stem with buds and purple flowers Image copyright Nigel Burkitt

Nigel Burkitt said: "I love finding native orchids; it's a real joy to see them. This backlit Dactylorhiza fuchsii looked so vibrant, shimmering like a jewel."

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Highly Commended, Photonic Bliss V, by Petar Sabol, Palovec, Croatia

Three white and black butterflies on a sunlit stem Image copyright Petar Sabol

Petar Sabol said: "I used a star filter to create this unusual and dramatic effect, capturing a ray of light directed at the plant and the three marbled white butterflies."

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Highly Commended, Mother, by Rob Blanken, Veenwouden, the Netherlands

A frog seen with frogspawn Image copyright Rob Blanken

Rob Blanken said: "The newly laid eggs and sparkling light provided a complementary contrast to the dark amphibious head."

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Highly Commended, On Fire, by Claudia de Jong, Lapland

Orange moss Image copyright Claudia de Jong

Claudia de Jong said: "The onset of spring beckons tiny strands of fire from the ground, in the form of moss - Polytrichum strictum. A double in-camera exposure helped to bring more depth and vibrancy to the image."

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Commended, Heaven, by Petar Sabol, Gorican, Croatia

A white and blue butterfly on a sunlit stem Image copyright Petar Sabol

Petar Sabol said: "I used a special lens to create beautiful soap bubble bokeh; a perfect complement to the majesty of the natural subjects."

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Commended, Frozen Sphagnum, by Tina Claffey, County Offaly, Leinster

Green moss and bubbles seen in water Image copyright Tina Claffey

Tina Claffey said: "In sub-zero temperatures in the heart of the Killaun Bog, I noticed that the Sphagnum mosses beneath the water surface were frozen, suspended in time in their green, mystical beauty."

Find out more about International Garden Photographer of the Year.

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