Eye of a Honeybee Wins Microscope Photography Competition
The eye of a honeybee dusted with pollen, the colon of a mouse colonized with human microbiota, and a human mammary gland organoid grown in the lab are among the top five winning images in Nikon's Small World photomicrography competition. Now in its 41st year, the competition highlights photos taken under the microscope, often by science researchers working in a range of disciplines.
Out of 2000 entries drawn from 83 countries, the four judges—two scientists, a science journalist, and a photo editor at a popular science magazine—chose Ralph Grimm's honeybee eye for the top prize. Grimm is an Australian high school teacher, self-taught photomicrographer, and former beekeeper. It took him four hours to mount, light, and photograph the eye of Apis mellifera, which is magnified 120 times.
Here are some of our favorite photos (not all are from the top five!), which were shot using a range of techniques, including confocal microscopy, differential interference contrast, and reflected light (Grimm's choice). You can see dozens more in the online gallery of winning pictures.