Beyond The Naked Eye
2019 Nikon International Small World Competition

Not many people have frequent visits to the labs and see things through light microscopes unless they work in the science or medical fields. The Nikon International Small World Photomicrography Competition, established in 1975, aims to bring science and creative input together, showcasing the work of photomicrographers from an array of scientific disciplines. Using techniques of light microscopy including phase contrast, polarised light, fluorescence and more, the results are always mesmeric, unveiling the hidden beauty of nature.

The first place of the 2019 edition was awarded to an image of a turtle embryo submitted by microscopy technician Teresa Zgoda and recent university graduate Teresa Kugler. The submission was actually image-stitched from hundreds of photos captured using fluorescence and stereo microscopy because the one very small parts of the turtle could be shot each time.

Second place was awarded to Dr. Igor Siwanowicz for his composite image of three single-cell freshwater protozoans which is sometimes called “trumpet animalcules”, and third place went to an immunofluorescent image using of an alligator embryo taken by Daniel Smith Paredes. More images can be viewed on the competition website.