Participants of the competition know that advanced imaging and microscope technologies help to lend more clarity and reveal the unexpected beauty of the world around us. That’s why photographers, scientists and hobbyists continue to push the boundaries of micrography. In fact, this year almost 2,500 scientists and artist from 89 countries around the world have submitted work for the competition.
Being evaluated on originality, informational content, technical proficiency, and visual impact, judges poured over thousands of photos for the contest. Eventually, first place was awarded to photographer Yousef Al Habshi. His image captures part of the compound eyes and bright-greenish scales of the Asian red palm weevil. This beetle is found in the Philippines and is less than a half-inch in size.
“Because of the variety of colouring and the lines that display in the eyes of insects, I feel like I’m photographing a collection of jewellery,” said Yousef. “Not all people appreciate small species, particularly insects. Through photomicrography we can find a whole new, beautiful world, which hasn’t been seen before. It’s like discovering what lies under the ocean’s surface.”
Yousef created the photo using reflected light and by stacking 128 micrographs into a single photo. And though this insect served as Yousef’s muse for the stunning photograph, weevils present infestation problems worldwide and may often destroy crops.
Other winners from the 2018 Nikon Photomicrography Contest
The entire top twenty makes use of a wide variety of techniques to bring their photomicrographs to life. Other images display the colourful forms of the microscopic world, such as a spittlebug’s bubble house, the fibres of a peacock feather, the central region of the retina and a human teardrop.
Winners of the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition will have their work shown during a traveling exhibition around the United States and Canada. They will also be included in a full-colour calendar.
All other photomicrography winners
Now that you’ve seen Earth from below, view it from above with this year’s drone awards.