Nikon Small World Competition

The Nikon International Small World Competition, which is celebrating over 38 years of excellence in photography and digital imaging though the microscope, is dedicated to furthering excellence and creativity in microscopy. Combining skills in microscopy and photography, a photomicrographer is able to capture an image of the world that the naked eye cannot see.
Small World Galleries

Visit the Small World Galleries

The Nikon Small World Gallery gives you a glimpse into a world that most have never seen. It is a window into a universe that can only be seen through the lens of a microscope. Included in the Small World Gallery are images from the 2013 contest winners and the 1st place winners for the past 39 years, all the way back to the beginning of the competition.


Enter the Competition

Enter the 2014 Small World Competition

Entrants may enter Nikon's Small World Competition by uploading digital images directly to our servers. Before you begin, read the Contest Rules and prepare your images for uploading according to the instructions. You may also download a 2014 Competition Entry Form in portable document format (*.PDF) for submission of entries by mail.


Enter the Competition

Enter the 2014 Small World In Motion Competition

Entrants may enter Nikon's Small World In Motion Competition by uploading digital videos directly to our servers. Before you begin, read the Contest Rules and prepare your images for uploading according to the instructions. You may also download a 2014 Competition Entry Form in portable document format (*.PDF) for submission of entries by mail.


Downloads

Screensavers and Desktop Wallpapers

Enjoy the beautiful digital images that were chosen as winners of the annual Small World Competition on your own personal computer as a screen saver. Small World screen savers have been developed for computers utilizing the Windows (98, 2000, XP, and 7) operating system and are available as free downloads to our visitors.


Buy Calendar

Purchase the 2014 Small World Calendar

The Nikon Small World 2014 Calendar is printed in full color on 8.5 x 11 semi-gloss paper and spiral bound for mounting on the wall. Included in the calendar are the top 20 prize winners, the 11 honorable mentions, and all 84 images of distinction. Winning entries included marine diatom, mouse embryo, nerve thin secions, ladybird beetle, Paramecium nucleus, dinosaur bone, wasp larva, and peacock feathers.


Nikon Small World Competition

This year's contest drew entrants from a record 84 countries, as well as from a diverse range of academic and professional disciplines. Winners came from such fields as chemistry, biology, materials research, botany, and biotechnology.

A photomicrograph is a technical document that can be of great significance to science or industry. 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 Nikon Small World Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography through the microscope. Truly international in scope, entries have been received from the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Winners have included both professionals and hobbyists.

The subject matter for this year's contest is unrestricted and any type of light microscopy technique is acceptable, including phase contrast, polarized light, fluorescence, interference contrast, darkfield, confocal, deconvolution, and mixed techniques. Entries submitted to Nikon are then judged by an independent panel of experts who are recognized authorities in the area of photomicrography and photography. These entries are judged on the basis of originality, informational content, technical proficiency and visual impact.

Entries may be submitted either on film (in 35 millimeter transparency format) or uploaded digitally through your web browser. The links below provide options for entering the contest.

  • Contest Rules

    Anyone over the age of 18 interested in photography through the microscope is eligible, with the exception of employees of Nikon Instruments Inc. ("Nikon"), their families, the contest judges, and individuals engaged in the manufacture or sale of microscopes or photographic equipment. Former first prize winners are ineligible to win first prize in the three contests immediately following the contest they won, but can win other prizes.

  • Prize List

    Winners will receive one of 20 prizes, sorted according to rank in the competition. First place is $3000 (US) toward the purchase of Nikon equipment at suggested retail selling prices in the USA. Honorable mention winners will receive an 16 x 20-inch print of their entries.

  • Exhibition Tour Schedule

    An eclectic group of striking scientific images will soon have viewers asking "What is that?" at a museum near you. These twenty photographs, submitted by photomicrographers from around the globe, are winners of the 39th Annual Nikon Small World International Photomicrography Competition, and are touring 19 cities between October 2013 and June 2014.