The first place winner of the competitionphotomicrograph from Nikon Small World 2021. Trichome (white appendages) and stomata (purple pores) on a southern living oak leaf. Jason Kirk, Baylor College of Medicine / Nikon Small World
Oscar Wilde wrote that "life imitates art much more than art imitates life ". Maybe we love the look of water lilies because of Monet's magnificent impressionist paintings.
By challenging artist-scientists to find beauty in life's smallest creation - think, snowflakes, insects and neurons - the the "photomicrography competition Nikon's Small World could take Wilde's sentiment to another level.
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After viewing the 2021 winners in the gallery below, don't be too surprised if the House Fly that is currently buzzing in your living room starts to look rather dazzling to you.
On Close Of 1,900 inions in 88 countries, the competition, now in its 47th year, selected a stunning top 20. translucent white appendages blooming on the purple pores of a cyan oak leaf. To get the shot, winner Jason Kirk swelled the sheet 60 times. Sixty times! Imagine that you pinch and zoom your iPhone photos fully 60 times, but the image remains super-focused.
"The lighting side was complicated " Kirk said in a statement. "The microscope objectives are small and have a very shallow depth of field. I couldn't just stick a giant light next to the microscope and have the lighting be directional. It would be like trying to turn on the head of the microscope. 'a pinwith a light source the size of your head. Almost impossible. "
Winners of Nikon 's Small World Photography see art in tiny and remarkable worlds
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Other winning images include one that shows neon green wispy threads around a mouse 's sensory neuron that make the cell look like a phosphorescent jellyfish. One displays the 3D brain vascular system of a second mouse reminiscent of a winter wonderland, and the ship forest fits perfectly into the winning image of another artist - a single crystal clear snowflake that showcases nature's ability to create perfect symmetry.
These images could easily be hung alongside the works of abstract art foundin The Whitney and spark a discussion of color theory and surrealism. Even if you are not a science lover, it is hard not to look at these unique works of art. They help us peek into worlds that are usually almost invisible.