Winning images revealed in RES Photography Competition 2023 

Two cuckoo bees (Epeolus variegatus) fast asleep, grasping onto the grass with their mandibles. Still with a few drops of morning dew on them.
Two cuckoo bees (Epeolus variegatus) fast asleep, grasping onto the grass with their mandibles.

View all winning images here. 

The winning images in the Royal Entomological Society’s Photography Competition 2023 have been announced during Insect Week 2024. The annual competition, organised by the UK’s leading insect science charity, showcases the very best amateur insect photography. It attracts entries from around the world from keen photographers of all ages, helping bring often-overlooked miniature world of insects into sharp focus. 

The 2023 overall winner in the ’18 and over’ category is Yorkshire based Luke Chambers for his image ‘Sleeping cuckoos’ that depicts two cuckoo bees resting on a blade of grass. Speaking about the image he captured, Luke said: “Something I didn’t expect to see when I visited a fairly new location to me, but one of my best encounters to date. Finding any sleeping invertebrate is always brilliant, but two so close together, well that’s like winning the photography lottery!”  

The ‘Under 18’ category overall winner is 17 year old Swedish photographer Gustav Parenmark for his image ‘Tranquility’ that shows a banded demoiselle damselfly at rest. Gustav, who is a previous winner in the annual competition, said: “Waking up early is the key to photographing sleeping odonates. This species of damselfly is usually very skittish, but I went out at 4am to capture them inactive, making them easier to photograph.” 

Ashleigh Whiffin, RES committee member, Entomology Curator at the National Museum of Scotland, a keen photographer and one of the competition judges, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of entries to the competition this year! It’s wonderful to know that so many individuals have engaged with insects in this way, capturing some incredible moments for their world and showcasing the beauty and diversity of insects.” 

The youngest 2023 winner is multi-award-winning Jamie Smart, aged 8, who was overall runner up in the ’18 and under’ category for her image ‘Robber fly breakfast’ depicting a slender-footed robber fly. She has previously scooped awards from World Wildlife Trust, British Wildlife Photography Awards and RSPCA. Talking about the morning she captured the image, she said: “I was up early one morning and decided to have a wander around our wild garden with my camera when I saw this fly on grass. I didn’t realise until looking on the computer that he was actually eating another fly!” 

The 2024 RES Photography Competition is now open for entries from all amateur insect photographers with winners’ prizes generously donated by OM System.

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For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact Clare Johnson at Bloom PR & Communications at [email protected] or call 07815 041635.