Nikon continues to honor the microscopic world that many tend to overlook with its Small World Photomicrography Competition. Now in it’s 44th year, the competition was another huge success with about 2,500 scientists and artists from 89 countries submitting their best microscopic photos.
Each submission pushed the boundaries of creativity and revealed the hidden
beauty that occurs under a microscope. Yousef Al Habshi was awarded first place with his close-up of a Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer beetle’s eye and its electric green scales that captivated the judges. As he said, “Because of the variety of coloring and the lines that display in the eyes of insects, I feel like I’m photographing a collection of jewelry.”
His photo was no easy process as the final product is a stacked compilation of more than 128 images that hit the perfect contrast between the black background and the insect’s black body and bright scales. Lighting and position was put to the test and he definitely mastered it.
Nikon also recognized 94 images that stood out among the 2,500 entries. You can see an impressive array of insects, crystals, fungi, and even a human tear transform into a work of art by visiting the competition website. But for now, here are the top 10 images that dominated this year’s contest.