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Blog At the Museum

Small World is more than meets the eye

Museum hosts the 2020 photo competition winners

See life from a whole new perspective in this worldwide photo microscopy show! Since 2014, the Museum has exhibited the 20 winning photos from Nikon’s Small World competition. This year’s winners showcase the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the microscope and show how scientific research and creative imagery combine to make stunning images and videos.

Nikon Small World winner
Winning image by Daniel Castranova

First-place winner Daniel Castranova produced a photo of a juvenile zebrafish that shows lymphatic vessels inside the fish’s skull — a trait previously thought to occur only in mammals. While stunning to look at, this discovery could have implications for treating diseases of the human brain, like cancer and Alzheimer’s. The photo is composed of over 350 individual images.

Nikon Instruments established the competition in 1974 “to recognize excellence in photography through the microscope.” Submissions are evaluated on originality, informational content, technical proficiency, and visual impact. This year’s photo competition received over 2,000 entries from scientists, artists, and hobbyists in 90 countries. Nikon Small World is widely regarded as the leading forum for recognizing the art, proficiency, and photographic excellence involved in photomicrography.

The museum will also feature the winners of Nikon Small World in Motion, the video microscopy competition that started in 2011. The videos feature both videomicrography “movies” and digital time-lapse photomicrography.

See the Nikon’s Small World winners in Terrace Gallery, located on the second floor of the Museum, near Investigate Health!. Small World in Motion will play in South Gallery near Weather. The show runs through July 23, 2021.