In my Intermediate class this week, I was showing macro lenses and someone used the phrase “microphotography”. I corrected them, because there is a different between macro and micro. It comes down to the amount of magnification; in macro, they are things you can still see with the naked eye, but micro has a 20x magnification. This same week, I just updated my photo history course with some information on science photography, some of it being microphotography. Then I was reading an article in the Smithsonian, that was talking about the Small World competition by Nikon, and realized this article was perfect timing for the blog for both sets of students!
As written by Sarah Kuta, “Photomicrography is the umbrella term used to describe the art (and science) of taking pictures of objects under a microscope. To capture these brilliant images in such crisp detail, the Small World participants used an array of techniques ranging from fluorescent staining, which makes tissues glow under certain light, to image stacking, which increases the depth of field. These methods help make the colors more vibrant, the lines sharper and the shapes clearer, with the goal of creating an image that is both scientifically revealing and artistically creative.
“A photomicrograph is a technical document that can be of great significance to science or industry,” per Nikon. “But a good photomicrograph is also an image whose structure, color, composition and content is an object of beauty, open to several levels of comprehension and appreciation.”
The website shows not only the awarded images for the top 20, but also the honorable mentions! There are images from all over the world, and all sorts of things–from cells, to insects, to candle wicks being blown out. Take a look at the very cool results yourself at: