Nikon’s Small World
Recognizing Excellence in Photography
through the Microscope
The Nikon International Small World Competition first began in 1975 as a means to recognize and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography through the light microscope. Since then, Small World has become a leading showcase for photomicrographers from the widest array of scientific disciplines.
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 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.
Contestants may enter the Competition by uploading digital images directly to our Small World servers. Before you begin, read the Contest Rules and prepare your images for uploading according to the instructions.
Exhibition Tour Schedule
Each year, the top 20 prize-winners are exhibited at numerous museums and science centers throughout the United States and Canada. Many winning images are also featured on the covers of prestigious scientific and industrial journals.
Small World Gallery
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 most recent competition and winning photomicrographs dating back to 1977.