Microscopic marvels from the 2019 Nikon Small World Photo contest

6th Place winner. Small white hair spider
6th Place winner. Small white hair spider.  Javier Rupérez. 

Nikon’s Small World competition has been running for nearly 50 years and it is one of the most compelling and reliably spectacular photo contests in the world. Focusing on the microscopic photography, the contest this year awarded its top prize to an incredible shot of a turtle embryo.

“The Nikon Small World competition has been bringing stunning scientific images to the public for 45 years now,” says Eric Flem, communications manager for Nikon. “Our goal has always been to show the world how art and science intersect. As new imaging and microscopy techniques develop over the years, our winners showcase these technology advances more and more creatively. First place this year is no exception.”

1st Place winner. Fluorescent turtle embryo

1st Place winner. Fluorescent turtle embryo.  Teresa Zgoda.  




The impressive winning image, selected from over 2000 submissions, was created using a combination of fluorescence and stereo microscopy. The final image was stitched together from hundreds of tiny individual shots because the organism’s size resulted in only being able to image small parts of the turtle on the focal plane at a time.

“Microscopy lets us zoom in on the smallest organisms and building blocks that comprise our world – giving us a profound appreciation for the small things in life that far too often go unnoticed,” explains Teresa Kugler, one of the two micro-photographers behind the winning shot. “It allows me to do science with a purpose.”

Image of Distinction. Stomoxys calcitrans (stable fly)

Image of Distinction. Stomoxys calcitrans (stable fly).  Özgür Kerem Bulur. 




The winning and commended images in this year’s competition span a broad array of subjects and photographic techniques from standard but spectacular close-ups of insect heads to surreal shots of caffeine molecules using polarized light.

Image of Distinction. Molten caffeine

Image of Distinction. Molten caffeine.  Thomas Borowitz. 

Take a look through our gallery at some awe-inspiring highlights from this year’s competition.

Source: Nikon Small World

(For the source of this article, and to view all 46 images, please visit: https://newatlas.com/digital-cameras/winners-2019-nikon-small-world-microscopic-photo-gallery/)

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