Quite a few of my posts include some photography, and whilst I try to keep to ‘Art & Design’ there is a lot of overlap. Just like painting, drawing, sculpting etc. are a skills that one can use to express truth and feelings photography is a skill that can be applied creatively with personality, meaning and individuality. Photomicrography is photography through a microscope opening up an unseen world of beauty. I have picked some of the entries from The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition which have the qualities I mentioned before. The competition has run each year since 1977, the following are from the 2007 competition.
An important aspect to consider when taking a great photo is subject matter. Dr. Pedro Barrias-Perez has certainly chosen something interesting for his photomicrograph Lateral oxidation of GaAs/AlGaAs mesas (200x magnification). I’m not 100% certain what this means, but I get the impression that what we are looking at is a combination of interfaces between two layers of compounds, gallium arsenide and aluminium gallium arsenide, it’s very clever stuff and it’s used to create CDs and DVDs. The structure and intrigue of this photo earnt the title ‘Image of Distinction’ and of course a place in my top 5.
Another important part of taking a great photo is the composition Diatoms (400x) Dr. Robert Berdan has taken an assortment of diatoms (A scientific class of algae, which confusingly have just one cell) in an excellent composition that shows of the variety and beauty of their structure, although in his quest to show so many diatoms there are a couple which appear to have lost some quality. Again the judges awarded this as an ‘Image of Distinction’
To give a photo a touch of personality it needs to have something that makes it unique. This Kaleidofly of a Halloween Pennant by Dr. Jeffrey Bowen does just that applying a Kaleidoscope affect to a dragon fly. It’s something we might normally recognise, especially as this was taken at 1x magnification but this unique twist took Dr. Bowen to 17th in the competition.
Cedrus Atlantica by Raul Gonzalez is a cross-section of a cedar leaf at 200x. I really like the bright colours and the orientation. Nikon placed this entry at 14.
Spirogyra (25x) by Christian Gautier is an algae of spiralling chloroplasts. The ratio of algae to white space gives it a fantastic visual appeal and the criss-crossing of strands gives a distinct edge over the other entries. My one criticism is that it would appear even better cropped landscape without the top third, but still that didn’t stop me giving this ‘Image of Distinction’ 1st place in my top 5.
To see which entries the Nikon Judges thought were top click here.