Nikon held its annual Small World Photomicrography competition, and the winners for 2013 did not disappoint. Judged on both artistic and technical merits, their work brought the very small into dazzlingly sharp focus.
Let's zoom in for a look at the competition's top 10 winners. Taking first prize for 2013 was freelance photographer and artist Wim van Egmond, of The Netherlands, for his image of Chaetoceros debilis (marine diatom), a colonial plankton organism. For his winning creation, Egmond, who has more than 20 still images credited as finalists in the Cool World competition over the last decade, used a partial image stack of more than 90 images.
Second place went to Dr. Joseph Corbo, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, for his Chrysemys picta (painted turtle) retina. He used differential interference contrast microscopy at 400X.
University of Sao Paulo's Dr. Alvaro Esteves Migotto took third place for this 20X darkfield stereomicroscopy marine worm.
The fourth-place Small World prize went to Rogelio Moreno Gill, of Panama City, Panama, for his Paramecium sp., showing the nucleus, mouth and water expulsion vacuoles.
Fifth place was awarded to University of Glasgow's Dr. Kieran Boyle for "Hippocampal neuron receiving excitatory contacts." He used fluorescence and confocal microscopy at 63X.
Small World winner number six was Dorit Hockman, of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K., for her Chamaeleo calyptratus (veiled chameleon) embryo showing cartilage (blue) and bone (red), achieved using brightfield microscopy.
Dr. Jan Michels, out of Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel Germany, created "Adhesive pad on a foreleg of Coccinella septempunctata (ladybird beetle)" and took a seventh place Small World prize.
Magdalena Turzańska, eighth-place finisher, of the University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland, was honored for Barbilophozia sp. (a leafy liverwort, bryophyte plant) and cyanobacteria.
Mark A. Sanders, of Minneapolis, Minn., took ninth place for his insect wrapped in a spider web, which used confocal, autofluorescence image stacking at 85X.
Rounding out the top 10 of Nikon's Small World winners was Ted Kinsman, Department of Imaging and Photo Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y. He was honored for this thin section of a dinosaur bone preserved in clear agate.
To learn about other Small World winners and see more great images, visit the competition website.