Nikon Small World
November 8, 2013 - January 5, 2014

The Delaware Museum of Natural History will be the first stop for a national tour of winning photographs from the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. On view from November 8, 2013 – January 5, 2014, the exhibit features 20 images of unusual, magnified subjects including a painted turtle retina, veiled chameleon embryo, an insect wrapped in a spider web, preserved dinosaur bone, ghost shrimp eye, and more.

This year’s winner is Mr. Wim van Egmond of the Micropolitan Museum in Berkel en Rodenrijs, The Netherlands. A freelance photographer and artist with a passion for aquatic microorganisms, Egmond sought to blend art and science with his image of a Chaetoceros debilis (marine diatom) to capture the complexity and stunning detail of this fragile helical chain.

Along with Egmond, over 100 other winners from around the world were recognized this year for excellence in photomicrography, sometimes for multiple entries.  As always, winning images were selected for displaying both artistic quality and masterful scientific technique.

“This competition brings together some of the top talent from around the world, from all walks of life and scientific disciplines, with more and more incredible entries submitted each year,” said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments. “After 39 years we are proud to watch the competition continue to grow, allowing us to honor this pool of talented researchers, artists, and photomicrographers, and showcase the importance and beauty of the work they do in the realm of scientific imaging.”

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.

While the top five images this year vary greatly in subject matter, technique and scientific discipline, they all prove to demonstrate the artistic skill and technical prowess of the photomicrographers behind them.

Top Five Images:

1.    Mr. Wim van Egmond, Micropolitan Museum, Chaetoceros debilis (marine diatom), a colonial plankton organism
2.    Dr. Joseph Corbo, Washington University School of Medicine, Chrysemys picta (painted turtle) retina
3.    Dr. Alvaro Esteves Migotto, Universidade de São Paulo, Centro de Biologia Marinha, Marine worm
4.    Mr. Rogelio Moreno Gill,  Paramecium sp. showing the nucleus, mouth and water expulsion vacuoles
5.    Dr. Kieran Boyle, University of Glasgow, Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, Hippocampal neuron receiving excitatory contacts

This year’s judges were comprised of top science and media industry experts:
Dr. Ron Vale, Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California – San Francisco (UCSF); Dr. Joan Ruderman, President and Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory; Alan Taylor, Senior Editor, The Atlantic’s “In Focus”; Cara Santa Maria, science communicator; Eric Clark, Research Coordinator and Applications Developer, and Michael W. Davidson, Director of the Optical and Magneto-Optical Imaging Center at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.

Top images from the 2013 Nikon Small World Competition will also be exhibited in a full-color calendar. For additional information, please visit, or follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @NikonSmallWorld.

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