View the winning images of this annual competition showcasing the delicate balance between scientific technique and art. Now celebrating its 44th year, Nikon Small World is widely regarded as the leading forum to recognize proficiency and photographic excellence of photography taken under the microscope. To select the winners, competition judges analyzed entries from all over the world.
First place was awarded to Emirati photographer Yousef Al Habshi, who captured part of the compound eyes and surrounding greenish scales of an Asian Red Palm weevil. This type of Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer beetle is typically less than 11 mm (0.43 in) in size and is found in the Philippines. Al Habshi captured the image using a reflected light technique and stacking of hundreds of images. The winning image is a compilation of more than 128 micrographs.
Second place was awarded to Rogelio Moreno for his colorful photo of a Fern sorus, a clustered structure that produces and contains spores. The image was produced using image stacking and autoflorecence, which requires hitting the sorus with ultraviolet light. Each color represents a different maturity stage of each sporangium inside the sorus.
Saulius Gugis captured third place for his adorable spittlebug photo, captured using focus-stacking. This spittlebug can be seen in the process of making his “bubble house.” Spittlebugs produce the foam substance to hide from predators, insulate themselves from temperature fluctuations and to stay moist.
In addition to the top three winners, Nikon Small World recognized an additional 92 photos out over almost 2,500 entries from scientists and artists in 89 countries.
The 2018 Nikon Small World judges are:
A gallery of all the winning images can be viewed on www.nikonsmallworld.com.
Featured photo at top of page: Eye of a Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer beetle.