Winners of Nikon’s 43rd Small World competition help us see the world around us in a beautiful new way


posted Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 10:00 AM EDT


It seems that no matter your photographic background, we can almost all universally agree that macro photography is cool and interesting. There is something about seeing the world around us in a totally new way that is truly fascinating. A source of some of the best close-up shots is Nikon's annual Small World competition. The winners of the 43rd annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition were just announced and we wanted to share some of the images with you as they are incredible.

First place was earned by Dr. Bram van den Broek of the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) for an image of a "skin cell expressing an excessive amount of keratin." He was studying dynamics of keratin filaments with a student, Andriy Volkov. Dr. van den Broek said, "There are more than 50 different keratin proteins known in humans. The expression patterns of keratin are often abnormal in skin tumor cells, and it is thus widely used as tumor marker in cancer diagnostics. By studying the ways different proteins like keratin dynamically change within a cell, we can better understand the progression of cancers and other diseases."

Of the entirety of winners, Nikon Instruments Communications Manager Eric Flem said, "This year's winners not only reflect remarkable research and trends in science, but they also allow the public to get a glimpse of a hidden world." An example of the hidden world us is well-represented by the second place winning photo, an image of a flowering head of a plant by Dr. Havi Sarfaty of Yahud-Monoson, Israel. A simple everyday object takes on an entirely different look with photomicrography.

In total, there were prizes handed out for the top three images and an additional 85 photographs were honored. The winners were selected from more than 2,000 entries garnered from over 88 countries around the world. You can see the full list of judges here. You can see the third place winner below and the other 85 images selected by the judging panel can be viewed here.

(Via Washington Post)