2010 Photomicrography Competition

Wasp nest

Riccardo Taiariol

La Spezia, SP, Italy

Extended Depth of Field, Stereomicroscopy


One of the great things about the Nikon Small World competition is you don’t have to be a science expert to submit an image and be selected as a winner. A lawyer from Italy, Riccardo Taiariol proves this with his beautiful image of a wasp nest, magnified 10x.

Microscopy is a hobby to Riccardo which he has been involved in for ten years. He generally looks to take pictures of protozoa, flowers and insects, which are relatively easy to find for those who are not scientists by trade.

Riccardo notes the image is significant because it “shows the hard job the insect had to do in order to build it.” It was taken using field stereomicroscopy.

When a former colleague sent him a section of an anglerfish ovary, James E. Hayden of The Wistar Institute came up with the idea of looking at the autofluorescence of the tissue in two colors. His vibrant swirling photomicrograph of developing oocytes, or unfertilized eggs, as they move along the spiral of an anglerfish’s ovary came in fourth.

Mr. Hayden said he is drawn to both photographic art and science. “Most microscopists have a streak of artist in them. It’s hard not to. You’re looking at things through a microscope that most people don’t see. The nascent artist in you sort of peeks its head up.”