Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition: 20 magnificent pictures of the microscopic world

Zoom in further than the naked eye can see with these beautiful winners of the 2019 Nikon Small World competition.

Instead of bucolic landscapes, deep-and-meaningful portraits, and hipster street photography, the winners of the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition turn their cameras on the microscopic world, which means this year’s collection is filled with snowflakes, spiders and see-through embryos.

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Now in its 45th year, the competition has celebrated scientific images and the technology behind them, and has produced an amazing array that are as enthralling as they are beautiful (see 2017’s competition for a delightful algae that looks like the video game character Pac-Man).

So without further ado, here are the top 20 winners from the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition 2019.

1

Fluorescent turtle embryo

Fluorescent turtle embryo © Teresa Zgoda & Teresa Kugler

Teresa Zgoda & Teresa Kugler

Campbell Hall, New York, USA

Stereomicroscopy, Fluorescence

5x (Objective Lens Magnification)

2

Depth-colour coded projections of three stentors (single-cell freshwater protozoans)

Depth-color coded projections of three stentors (single-cell freshwater protozoans) © Dr Igor Siwanowicz

Dr Igor Siwanowicz

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, Virginia, USA

Confocal

40x (Objective Lens Magnification)

3

Alligator embryo developing nerves and skeleton

Alligator embryo developing nerves and skeleton © Daniel Smith Paredes & Dr. Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar

Daniel Smith Paredes & Dr. Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar

Yale University, Department of Geology and Geophysics, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Immunofluorescence

10x (Objective Lens Magnification)

4

Male mosquito

Male mosquito © Jan Rosenboom

Jan Rosenboom

Universität Rostock, Rostock, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Germany

Focus Stacking

6.3x (Objective Lens Magnification)

5

Snowflake

Snowflake © Caleb Foster

Caleb Foster

Caleb Foster Photography, Jericho, Vermont, USA

Transmitted Light

4x (Objective Lens Magnification)

6

Small white hair spider

Small white hair spider © Javier Rupérez

Javier Rupérez

Almáchar, Málaga, Spain

Reflected Light, Image Stacking

20x (Objective Lens Magnification)

7

Chinese red carnation stamen

Chinese red carnation stamen © Dr. Guillermo López López

Dr. Guillermo López López

Alicante, Spain

Focus Stacking

3x (Objective Lens Magnification)

8

Frozen water droplet

Frozen water droplet © Garzon Christian

Garzon Christian

Quintin, Cotes-d’Armor, France

Incident Light

8x (Objective Lens Magnification)

9

Tulip bud cross section

Tulip bud cross section © Andrei Savitsky

Andrei Savitsky

Cherkassy, Ukraine

Reflected Light

1x (Objective Lens Magnification)

10

BPAE cells in telophase stage of mitosis

BPAE cells in telophase stage of mitosis © Jason M. Kirk

Jason M. Kirk

Baylor College of Medicine, Optical Imaging & Vital Microscopy Core, Houston, Texas, USA

Confocal with Enhanced Resolution

63x (Objective Lens Magnification)

11

A pair of ovaries from an adult Drosophila female stained for F-actin (yellow) and nuclei (green); follicle cells are marked by GFP (magenta)

A pair of ovaries from an adult Drosophila female stained for F-actin (yellow) and nuclei (green); follicle cells are marked by GFP (magenta) © Dr. Yujun Chen & Dr. Jocelyn McDonald

Dr. Yujun Chen & Dr. Jocelyn McDonald

Kansas State University, Department of Biology, Manhattan, Kansas, USA

Confocal

10x (Objective Lens Magnification)

12

Mosquito larva

Mosquito larva © Anne Algar

Anne Algar

Hounslow, Middlesex, United Kingdom

Darkfield, Polarizing Light, Image Stacking

4x (Objective Lens Magnification)

13

Cuprite (mineral composed of copper oxide)

Cuprite (mineral composed of copper oxide) © Dr. Emilio Carabajal Márquez

Dr. Emilio Carabajal Márquez

Madrid, Spain

Focus Stacking

20x (Objective Lens Magnification)

14

Female Oxyopes dumonti (lynx) spider

Female Oxyopes dumonti (lynx) spider © Antoine Franck

Antoine Franck

CIRAD – Agricultural Research for Development, Saint Pierre, Réunion

Focus Stacking

1x (Objective Lens Magnification)

15

Pregnant Daphnia magna (small planktonic crustacean)

Pregnant Daphnia magna (small planktonic crustacean) © Marek Miś

Marek Miś

Marek Miś Photography, Suwalki, Podlaskie, Poland

Modified Darkfield, Polarized Light, Image Stacking

4x (Objective Lens Magnification)

16

Housefly compound eye pattern

Housefly compound eye pattern © Dr. Razvan Cornel Constantin

Dr. Razvan Cornel Constantin

Bucharest, Romania

Focus Stacking, Reflected Light

50x (Objective Lens Magnification)

17

Vitamin C

Vitamin C © Karl Deckart

Karl Deckart

Eckental, Bavaria, Germany

Brightfield, Polarized Light

4x (Objective Lens Magnification)

18

Cristobalite crystal suspended in its quartz mineral host

Cristobalite crystal suspended in its quartz mineral host © E. Billie Hughes

Billie Hughes

Lotus Gemology, Bangkok, Thailand

Darkfield

40x (Objective Lens Magnification)

19

Octopus bimaculoides embryo

Octopus bimaculoides embryo © Martyna Lukoseviciute & Dr. Carrie Albertin

Martyna Lukoseviciute & Dr. Carrie Albertin

University of Oxford, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

Confocal, Image Stitching

5x (Objective Lens Magnification)

20

Blood vessels of a murine (mouse) heart following myocardial infarction (heart attack)

Blood vessels of a murine (mouse) heart following myocardial infarction (heart attack) © Simon Merz, Lea Bornemann & Sebastian Korste

Simon Merz, Lea Bornemann & Sebastian Korste

University Hospital Essen, Institute for Experimental Immunology & Imaging, Essen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

Tissue Clearing, Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy

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2x (Objective Lens Magnification)