Nikon Small World winners show the giant beauty of the microscopic world

Oct 14, 2022

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Nikon Small World winners show the giant beauty of the microscopic world

Oct 14, 2022

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Nikon has announced the winners of its annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. For almost five decades, Nikon has shared the best microscopic images from this contest, and just as always – they are absolutely marvelous.

This year’s first-place prize was awarded to Grigorii Timin for his remarkable image of an embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko. But Nikon also recognizes the best 20 images from the contest, so let’s take a look and enjoy them together.

The Nikon Small World competition was founded in 1974 to recognize excellence in photography through the microscope. In 2011, a sister competition was launched: Nikon Small World in Motion. It was a response to technological advances allowing for recording movies or digital timelapse through the microscope.

For his amazing winning photo, Timin was supervised by Dr. Michel Milinkovitch at the University of Geneva. He utilized high-resolution microscopy and image-stitching to capture this species of Phelsuma grandis day gecko. The final photo is the result of merging hundreds of images together, and preparing the sample was an additional challenge. Timin performed whole-mount fluorescent staining and tissue clearing to capture the entire embryonic hand with a confocal microscope.

“This embryonic hand is about 3 mm (0.12 in) in length, which is a huge sample for high-resolution microscopy,” Timin said. “The scan consists of 300 tiles, each containing about 250 optical sections, resulting in more than two days of acquisition and approximately 200 GB of data.”

The final result gives a glimpse into the hidden beauty and complexity of the gecko, highlighting the nerves in a cyan color and the bones, tendons, ligaments, skin and blood cells in a range of warmer colors.

© Grigorii Timin & Dr. Michel Milinkovitch/Nikon Small World 2022

To select the winners, Nikon Small World judges analyzed entries from all over the world. Nearly 1,300 entries from 72 countries, to be more specific. All of the photos were evaluated on originality, informational content, technical proficiency, and visual impact. As I mentioned, the competition has unveiled the top 20 images, which you’ll see if you keep on scrolling. Make sure to check out Nikon Small World’s website for the full gallery of winners and runner-ups.

Caleb Dawson/Nikon Small World 2022, 2nd place
Breast tissue showing contractile myoepithelial cells wrapped around milk-producing alveoli
© Satu Paavonsalo & Dr. Sinem Karaman/Nikon Small World 2022
Blood vessel networks in the intestine of an adult mouse
© Dr. Andrew Posselt/Nikon Small World 2022
Long-bodied cellar/daddy long-legs spider (Pholcus phalangioides)
© Alison Pollack/Nikon Small World 2022
Slime mold (Lamproderma)
© Ole Bielfeldt/Nikon Small World 2022
Unburned particles of carbon released when the hydrocarbon chain of candle wax breaks down
© Dr. Jianqun Gao & Prof. Glenda Halliday/Nikon Small World 2022
Human neurons derived from neural stem cells (NSCs)
© Dr. Nathanaël Prunet/Nikon Small World 2022
Growing tip of a red algae
© Dr. Marek Sutkowski/Nikon Small World 2022
Liquid crystal mixture (smectic Felix 015)
© Murat Öztürk/Nikon Small World 2022
A fly under the chin of a tiger beetle
© Ye Fei Zhang/Nikon Small World 2022
Moth eggs
© Brett M. Lewis/Nikon Small World 2022
Autofluorescence of a single coral polyp (approx. 1 mm)
© Randy Fullbright/Nikon Small World 2022
Agatized dinosaur bone
© Nadia Efimova/Nikon Small World 2022
Differentiated cultured mouse myoblasts with lysosomes (cyan/green), nuclei (yellow), F-actin (magenta)
© Dr. Ziad El-Zaatari/Nikon Small World 2022
Cross sections of normal human colon epithelial crypts
© Dr. Olivier Leroux/Nikon Small World 2022
Longitudinal section through a white asparagus shoot tip
© Dr. Daniel Wehner & Julia Kolb/Nikon Small World 2022
Tail fin of a zebrafish larva with peripheral nerves (green) and extracellular matrix (violet)
© Dr. Julien Resseguier/Nikon Small World 2022
Network of macrophages (white blood cells) of an adult zebrafish intestine
© Dr. Tagide deCarvalho/Nikon Small World 2022
Bacterial biofilm on a human tongue cell
© Hui Lin & Dr. Kim McBride/Nikon Small World 2022
Human cardiomyocytes (heart cells) derived from induced pluripotent stem cells

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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