Sunday, October 12, 2008

The world on a very small scale

Nikon is running their annual 'Small World' competition once again. It's for microphotography - the capture of the microscopic details of our world on camera.

I'm an enthusiastic amateur photographer, and this sort of thing fascinates me. I've never attempted microphotography - the equipment involved is very expensive, just for a start! - but it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful and complex the tiniest details of life can be. Of course, given that I'm a man of faith, I see God's creative hand in it all: but even an atheist can surely appreciate the marvels of evolution! We'll agree to differ on who started it all.

Here are a few examples from previous years of the competition. Click the pictures for a larger view.

A chicken embryo:

Mangrove fern leaf:

Micro-flow patterns on a soap film:

Soap bubbles in water:

Willowherb seeds:

Wing scales of a sunset moth:

Fascinating stuff! If you're interested in photography, take time to browse through the galleries of past winners of the competition. There are hundreds more interesting photographs there.



Anonymous said...

Peter, while photomicroscopy( pictures#2,3,4,6) gear is indeed expensivr, photomacroscopy (pictures #1,5) is not too expensive to get into if you have an SLR (digital or film) if you are willing to give up some of the automated function, spend some time, and be inventive. Check into extension tubes if you have a SLR. You can even make your own from lens mount caps, and old 16mm projector lenses make superb photomacrascopy lenses and are dirt cheap. I you have question contact me at NukemJim at or at THR


phlegmfatale said...

wow - cool, Jim - my camera is SLR, and i've been staggered by some of the detail i've captured with it.

I love the soap film flow thingie;
gorgeous stuff! I'd hang that on my wall.

Home on the Range said...

Trying to capture a hummingbird was as close as I got to fast and small.

Amazing work.