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Top 20 winners of Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition

Nikon Small World photography competition1st Place: Portrait of a Chrysopa sp. (green lacewing) larva (20x) [Photo by Dr. Igor Siwanowicz]

Nikon recently announced the winners of the 2011 Small World Photomicrography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photomicrography, honoring images that successfully showcase the delicate balance between difficult scientific technique and exquisite artistic quality. This year’s top honors went to Dr. Igor Siwanowicz’s for his ‘Portrait of a Chrysopa’.

When a small bug landed on Dr. Igor Siwanowicz’s hand and began “fiercely digging its mandibles” into his skin, he didn’t swat it away. Instead, he removed a tiny test tube from his pocket – which he carries for occasions such as these – and captured it as a potential subject for his photomicrography passion. Dr. Siwanowicz writes, ‘My art causes a dissonance for its viewer – a conflict between the culturally imprinted perception of an insect as something repulsive and ugly with a newly-acquired admiration of the beauty of its form,” said Dr. Siwanowicz, who completed his doctoral studies in protein crystallography but now works in invertebrate photography for research. ‘My hope is that in some way, my photomicrographs prompt people to realize the presence of cultural programming, question it, and eventually throw it off as an illusion’.

Top images from the 2011 Nikon Small World Competition will be exhibited in a full-color calendar and through a national museum tour. You can also vote for your favorites through the end of October.

Nikon Small World photography competition2nd Place: Blade of Grass (200X) [Photo by Dr. Donna Stolz]

Nikon Small World photography competition3rd Place: Melosira moniliformis, living specimen (320X) [Photo by Frank Fox]

Nikon Small World photography competition4th Place: Intrinsic fluorescence in Lepidozia reptans (liverwort) (20X) [Photo by Dr. Robin Young]

Nikon Small World photography competition5th Place: Microchip surface, 3D reconstruction (500X) [Photo by Alfred Pasieka]

Dennis-callahan Nikon Small World photography competition6th Place: Cracked gallium arsenide solar cell films (50X) [Photo by Dennis Callahan]

Gabriel-Luna Nikon Small World photography competition7th Place: Retinal flatmount of mouse nerve fiber layer (40X) [Photo by Gabriel Luna]

Bernardo-Cesare Nikon Small World photography competition8th Place: Graphite-bearing granulite from Kerala (India) (2.5X) [Photo by Dr. Bernardo Cesare]

Jan-Michels Nikon Small World photography competition9th Place: Temora longicornis (marine copepod), ventral view (10X) [Photo by Dr. Jan Michels]

Nikon Small World photography competition Joan-Rohl10th Place: Daphnia magna (freshwater water flea) (100X) [Photo by Joan Röhl]

11-Jan-Michels Nikon Small World photography competition11th Place: Ant head, frontal view (10X) [Photo by Dr. Jan Michels]

12-Thomas-Deernick Nikon Small World photography competition12th Place: HeLa (cancer) cells (300X) [Photo by Thomas Deerinck]

13-Stephen-Nagy Nikon Small World photography competition13th Place: Curare vine in cross-section, Chondrodendron tomentosum (45X) [Photo by Dr. Stephen S. Nagy]

14-Yanping-Wang Nikon Small World photography competition14th Place: Sand (4X) [Photo by Yanping Wang]

James H Nicholson Nikon Small World photography competition15th Place: Porites lobata (lobe coral), live specimen displaying tissue pigmentation response with red fluorescence (12X) [Photo by James H. Nicholson]

16-Christopher-Guerin Nikon Small World photography competition16th Place: Cultured cells growing on a bio-polymer scaffold (63X) [Photo by Dr. Christopher Guérin]

17-Witold-Kilarski Nikon Small World photography competition17th Place: Litomosoides sigmodontis (filaria worms) inside lymphatic vessels of the mouse ear (150X) [Photo by Dr. Witold Kilarski]

18-Benjamin-Blonder Nikon Small World photography competition18th Place: Venation network of young Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) leaf (4X) [Photo by Benjamin Blonder and David Elliott]

19-Donna-Stolz Nikon Small World photography competition19th Place: Mammalian cell collage stained for various proteins and organelles, assembled into a wreath (200-2000X) [Photo by Dr. Donna Stolz]

20-Douglas-Moore Nikon Small World photography competition20th Place: Agatized dinosaur bone cells, unpolished, ca. 150 million years old (42X) [Photo by Douglas Moore]