Melville, NY—Nikon Instruments Inc. unveiled the winners of the 47th Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. This year’s first–place prize was awarded to Jason Kirk for his image of a southern live oak leaf’s trichomes, stomata and vessels.
Using various lighting techniques as well as design tools, Kirk’s final image is an example of the dynamic relationship between imaging technology and artistic creativity. Moreover, Kirk used a custom-made microscope system that combines color filtered transmitted light with diffused reflected light. Consequently, he captured around 200 individual images of the leaf and stacked them together to create the stunning image.
Prominently featured in white are the trichomes; they are fine outgrowths that protect a plant against extreme weather, microorganisms and also insects. Moreover, in purple, he highlights the stomata, small pores that regulate the flow of gases in a plant. In addition, colored in cyan are the vessels that transport water throughout the leaf.
“The lighting side of it was complicated,” said Kirk. “Microscope objectives are small and have a very shallow depth of focus. I couldn’t just stick a giant light next to the microscope and have the lighting be directional. It would be like trying to light the head of a pin with a light source that’s the size of your head. Nearly impossible.” Furthermore, he edited the color temperature and hue in postproduction to better illustrate the various elements pictured.
47th Nikon Small World Photomicrography Contest Winners
“Nikon Small World was created to show the world how art and science come together under the microscope. This year’s first–place winner could not be a better example of that blend,” said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments.
“I continue to be amazed by the level of talent we see every year, and this year’s winning gallery is no exception. As imaging technology continues to progress, the 47th annual competition has provided us with some amazing captures of scientific research as well as creativity from across a multitude of disciplines.”
In total, Nikon Small World recognized 100 photos out of thousands of entries from scientists and artists across the globe.
Jason Kirk, Baylor College of Medicine, Optical Imaging & Vital Microscopy Core, Houston, Texas. Trichome (white appendages) and stomata (purple pores) on a southern live oak leaf, Image Stacking, 60x (Objective Lens Magnification)
Esmeralda Paric & Holly Stefen, Dementia Research Centre, Macquarie University, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Macquarie Park, NSW, Australia. A microfluidic device containing 300K networking neurons in 2 isolated populations. Both sides were treated with a unique virus and bridged by axons. Fluorescence, 40x
Frank Reiser, Nassau Community College, Department of Biology, Garden City, New York. Rear leg, claw, and respiratory trachea of a louse (Haematopinus suis). Darkfield, Image Stacking, 5x
Paula Diaz, MinusPain, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Department of Physiology, Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile. Sensory neuron from an embryonic rat, Fluorescence, 10x
Oliver Dum, Medienbunker Produktion, Bendorf, Rheinland Pfalz, Germany. Proboscis of a housefly (Musca domestica), Image Stacking, 40x
Dr. Andrea Tedeschi, The Ohio State University / Wexner Medical Center, Department of Neuroscience, Columbus, Ohio. 3D vasculature of an adult mouse brain (somatosensory cortex), Confocal, 10x
Dr. Tong Zhang & Dr. Paul Stoodley, The Ohio State University, Campus Microscopy & Imaging Facility, Columbus, Ohio. Head of a tick, Confocal, 10x
Dr. Amy Engevik, Medical University of South Carolina, Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Charleston, South Carolina. Cross section of mouse intestine, Fluorescence, 10x
Jan van IJken, Jan van IJken Photography and Film, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands. Water flea (Daphnia), carrying embryos and peritrichs, Darkfield, Image Stacking, 10x
Sébastien Malo, Saint Lys, Haute-Garonne, France. Vein and scales on a butterfly wing Morpho didius), Image Stacking, Reflected Light, 20x
The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography or video. Participants may upload digital images as well as videos directly at www.nikonsmallworld.com.
For additional information, contact Nikon Small World, Nikon Instruments Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747, USA, or phone (631) 547-8569.
In addition, entry forms for Nikon’s 2022 Small World and Small World in Motion Competitions are also available at https://enter.nikonsmallworld.com/.