Nikon Metrology / News / US News / Marine Diatoms Capture Top Honors at Nikon Small World 2008

Marine Diatoms Capture Top Honors at Nikon Small World 2008

October 16, 2008

Astor Center Hosts Top Photomicrographs from Around the World

NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2008 -- With the appearance of gracefully swooping beams of light or a colorful array of feathers, a dazzling photo of Pleurosigma (marine diatoms) has won the 2008 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. Michael Stringer of Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, United Kingdom took home the top honor with this image, which was magnified 200 times and taken using darkfield and polarized light.

Nikon Small World recognizes Mr. Stringer's image, along with the other 2008 winners, for showing both scientific and artistic qualities. Nearly 2,000 entries were received this year, the most ever for the competition, from scientists and artists across the world. The winning images were selected by a distinguished panel of judges.

"My objective was to display diatoms in today's modern style, through the careful application of colors," said Mr. Stringer, "I couldn't be more pleased that the Small World judges recognized the artistic vision in this image. I dedicate this award to the diatom and especially to my dear friend, Klaus Kemp, who in my opinion creates the most exquisite slides of these tiny bits of silica."

Founded in 1974 to recognize excellence in photography through the microscope, Nikon Small World is the leading forum for celebrating the beauty and complexity of objects seen through the light microscope. The 2008 winning photographers were recognized last night at the Astor Center in New York City. Nikon also unveiled the complete gallery of winning photomicrographs set to tour science and art museums across the nation beginning October 24th. Images are also available in the Small World calendar, which can be purchased at, and in an online gallery featured at the same location.

 "The photo that Michael Stringer produced is remarkable, as were all the contributions to Small World 2008," said Lee Shuett, executive vice president, Nikon Instruments. "To see the world's tiniest objects captured in such a majestic way puts our very existence into perspective."

The top three images include Mr. Stringer's diatoms, Paul Marshalls' picture of post-growth carbon nanotubes, and Albert Tousson's image of Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley). Nikon has also awarded several "Honorable Mentions" and "Images of Distinction" this year to outstanding photomicrographs that demonstrate superior technical competency and artistic skill.

This year's judges again represented top industry experts and included Ivan Oranksy, Managing Editor, online, Scientific American; Alice Park, Department Head, Science, Time Magazine; David L. Spector, Director of Research and Head of the Gene Regulation Program, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Ron Strum, Senior Petrographer, CTLGroup; and Michael Davidson, Director of the Optical and Magneto-Optical Imaging Center at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.


 The 2008 gallery of winning images can be viewed at


 1st Place
 Michael Stringer
 Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, UK
 Pleurosigma (marine diatoms) (200x)
Darkfield and Polarized Light


 2nd Place
 Paul Marshall
 National Research Council Canada
 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
 Carbon nanotubes, post growth (30x)


 3rd Place
 Albert Tousson
 High Resolution Imaging Facility
 University of Alabama at Birmingham
 Birmingham, Alabama, USA
 Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley) (1300x)


 4th Place
 Matthew Springer, Ph.D.
 University of California, San Francisco
 San Francisco, California, USA
 Differentiation of unicellular Dictyostelium discoideum into
 Multicellular slugs (100x at 10")


 5th Place
 Charles Kazilek
 Arizona State University
 Tempe, Arizona, USA
 Japanese specialty paper fibers (Sugixawa Tenjyo) (100x)


 6th Place
 Klaus Bolte
 Stittsville, Ontario, Canada
 Chrysolina fastuosa (Micro leaf beetle) on a pin head (40x)


 7th Place
 Dr. Margaret Oechsli
 Jewish Hospital, Heart & Lung Institute
 Louisville, Kentucky, USA
 Mitomycin (an anti-cancer drug) (10x)
 Polarized Light


 8th Place
 John Hart
 Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
 University of Colorado
 Boulder, Colorado, USA
 Crystallized mixture of resorcinol, methylene blue, and sulphur (13x)
 Polarized Transmitted Light


 9th Place
 David Walker
 Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK
 Compact disc case detail (5x)
 Polarized Light


 10th Place
 Harold Taylor
 Kensworth, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, UK
 Orchestia gammarella (sand hopper) (10x)


 11th Place
 Wim van Egmond
 Micropolitan Museum
 Rotterdam, The Netherlands
 Diatoms on red alga (100x)


 12th Place
 Charles Krebs
 Charles Krebs Photography
 Issaquah, Washington, USA
 Rear leg section of Water Boatman (Hemiptera: Corixidae) (200x)
 Rheinberg Illumination


 13th Place
 Milan Kosanovic
 Belgrade, Serbia/Montenegro
 Recrystallized Vitamin C (10x)
 Polarized Light


 14th Place
 Charles Krebs
 Charles Krebs Photography
 Issaquah, Washington, USA
 Closterium, diatoms and Spirogyra (40x)
 Polarized Light


 15th Place
 Wim van Egmond
 Micropolitan Museum
 Rotterdam, The Netherlands
 Radiolarians, fossil shells (160x)
 Differential Interference Contrast


 16th Place
 Richard Bulgin
 Imperial College London
 London, UK
 Transfected fibroblast with lamellipodia (100x)


 17th Place
 Monica Pons
 Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (CSIC)
 Barcelona, Spain
 Arabidopsis thaliana root (10x)


 18th Place
 Dr. Tamily Weissman
 Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
 Harvard University
 Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
 "Brainbow" transgenic mouse hippocampus (40x)


 19th Place
 Eric Kalkman
 Laboratory of Phytopathology, Wageningen University
 Wageningen, The Netherlands
 Hyperbranching of the fungus Neurospora crassa (bread mold) exposed to Latrunculin B (200x)


 20th Place
 Solvin Zankl
 Solvin Zankl Images
 Kiel, Germany
 Sergestes larva (deep-water decapod crustacean) (30x)


 Honorable Mentions


 Dr. Pedro Barrios-Perez
 National Research Council Canada - Institute for Microstructural Sciences
 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
 Opening in wrinkled photoresist (200x)
 Nomarski with Tone Reversal


 Matthew Cook
 University of Idaho, Manchester Research Station
 Port Orchard, Washington, USA
 Calanoid copepods (zooplankton) (50x)
Stereomicroscopy with UV-b bulb placed next to stage


 Karl Deckart
 Eckental, Germany
 Ammonium oxalate crystal (25x)
 Differential Interference Contrast


 Dr. Rachel Fink
 Mount Holyoke College
 South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA
 Newly fertilized Fundulus heteroclitus (killifish) embryos (30x)


 Dr. Andy Fischer
 The Ohio State University
 Columbus, Ohio, USA
 Vertical section of a chick retina (400x)


 Michael Gibson
 Northamptonshire Natural History Society
 Northampton, UK
 Single desmid, a species from the genus Closterium (200x)
Brightfield, Oblique Illumination


 Torri Hancock
 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service (ARS)
 Ft. Detrick, Maryland, USA
 Soybean leaf infected with Phakopsora pachyrhizi (Soybean Rust) (10x)


 Charles Krebs
 Charles Krebs Photography
 Issaquah, Washington, USA
 Wing scales of Urania riphaeus (Sunset moth) (100x)
 Fiber Optic Illumination


 Edwin Lee
 Carrollton, Texas, USA
 Shaving cream with water (310x)
 Polarized Light


 Dr. Jean Livet
 Institut de la Vision, INSERM U592 and UPMC
 Paris, France
 "Brainbow" mouse brain stem with auditory pathway axons (40x)


 Dr. Tsutomu Seimiya
 Tokyo Metropolitan University
 Minato-ku, Tokyo
 Micro-flow pattern in thinning soap film (8x)
 Simple microscope


 Dr. Jaswant Singh
 Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
 University of Saskatchewan
 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
 Heated micropipette containing oocytes (mammalian eggs) (20x)
Brightfield, Phase Contrast


 Daphne Zbaeren-Colbourn
 Bern, Switzerland
 Acrostichum aureum, mangrove fern (TS leaf midrib) (20x)
Fluorescence with Brightfield


 Dr. Petr Znachor
 Institute of Hydrobiology
 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
 Coiled filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. (600x)
 Nomarski Differential Interference Contrast



The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography. Participants may submit their images in traditional 35mm format, or upload digital images directly at The first and second of 20 prize winners will receive a selection of Nikon products and equipment worth $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. For additional information, contact Nikon Small World, Nikon Instruments Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747, USA or phone (631) 547-8569. Entry forms for Nikon's 2007 Small World Competition may also be downloaded from



 Nikon Instruments Inc., world leader in microscope and advance digital imaging technology, is committed to providing its customers with quality products for bioscience research and industrial applications; high-performance semiconductor wafer handling and inspection equipment, and advance high-speed, vision-based and optical measuring tools. For more information, visit the Nikon Web site at Product related inquiries can be directed to Nikon Instruments at 800-52-NIKON.


 CONTACT: Beth Starkin of Peppercom, +1-212-931-6108,, for Nikon Instruments Inc.