2014 Small World Exhibition Tour Schedule

An increasing number of investigations are using live-cell imaging techniques to provide critical insight into the fundamental nature of cellular and tissue function, especially due to the rapid advances that are currently being witnessed in fluorescent protein and synthetic fluorophore technology.


Celebrating its 38th year, the annual Nikon International Small World Competition was founded in 1975 to recognize excellence in photography through the microscope. The competition's reputation has grown throughout the years and is regarded as the leading forum for recognizing the art, proficiency and photographic excellence involved in photomicrography.

This year's winning entries display a number of outstanding images covering a wide range of biological, chemical, and material substances including cells in culture, diatoms, insects, recrystallized chemicals and biochemicals, fluorescently labeled tissue sections, plants, various microorganisms, liquid crystals, and fibers. More than 1900 images from around the world were submitted to this year's competition, which were evaluated by an independent five-person judging panel on their originality, informational content, technical proficiency, and visual impact.

"When the Small World gallery of winning images launches as an exhibit each year, what was once a science specimen under a microscope becomes curated art for public consumption and appreciation," says Lee Shuett, Executive Vice President of Nikon Instruments Inc. "We are proud to be able to educate people about the importance of photomicrography in scientific research while integrating science into mainstream art."

The annual competition is open to anyone with an interest in photomicrography. Past winners have included scientists, hobbyists, clergymen, gold prospectors, industrial photographers, and engineers. The contest is open for submissions until the end of April each year. Winners are announced and honored at a Nikon Small World celebration in New York City each Fall.