We now have the winners of this year’s Nikon Small World, a competition designed to highlight the wonders of the microscopic world around us and the modern optics that make these photographs possible. The first place winner is Wim van Egwand from the Micropolitan Museum in The Netherlands for his 250x photo of a colonial plankton.
There are many images from the other finalists on the contest’s page, and it must have been a difficult ordeal for the judges to select winners from such an impressive collection.
About the winner from the announcement:
A freelance photographer and artist with a passion for aquatic microorganisms, Egmond sought to blend art and science to capture the complexity and stunning detail of this fragile helical chain.
First place winner Wim van Egmond is one of Small World’s top photomicrographers, with now twenty still images recognized as finalists throughout the last decade. To capture the great complexity and detail of his winning diatom in three-dimensions, Egmond employed a partial image stack of more than 90 images. Foregoing traditional bright, saturated colors, he adjusted the illumination to create a subdued, blue background to contrast with the natural yellow-brown color of the diatom.
“I approach micrographs as if they are portraits. The same way you look at a person and try to capture their personality, I observe an organism and try to capture it as honestly and realistically as possible,” said Egmond of his winning image. “At the same time, this image is about form, rhythm and composition. The positioning of the helix, the directions of the bristles, the subdued colors and contrast all bring together a balance that is both dynamic and tranquil.”