Nikon Instruments announced the 2015 winners of the annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition Wednesday, marveling photographers and viewers alike with never-before-seen images of the microscopic world.
This year’s contest received over 2,000 submissions from 83 countries around the world. In a nod to level of competition for this year's prize, Nikon named a Top Twenty images, as well as 12 Honorable Mentions and 56 Images of Distinction.
“Each year we are blown away by the incredible quality and quantity of microscopic images submitted from all over the world, from scientists, artists, and photomicrographers of all levels and backgrounds,” Eric Flem, communications manager of Nikon Instruments said in a press release. “The year was certainly no exception.”
As a former beekeeper, Mr. Grimm worked with a subject that he feels deserves more attention.
“In a way I feel as though this gives us a glimpse of the world through the eye of a bee,” Grimm told Nikon. “It’s a subject of great sculptural beauty, but also a warning – that we should stay connected to our planet, listen to the little creatures like bees, and find a way to protect the earth that we all call home.”
Grimm spent four hours trying to capture the winning photo, meticulously mounting the eye on a microscope while tackling focusing and lighting obstacles.
Kristen Earle and her colleagues at Stanford University won 2nd place for their photo of a mouse colon.
And Dr. Igor Siwanowicz’s photo of a freshwater carnivorous plant, the humped baldderwort, won 3rd place.
The winning images will travel through the US with the Small World Exhibit. The variety of judges highlights the cross-discipline style of the contest, with two of the judges working with photography and the other two judges holding PhD's in biological fields.