2019 Photomicrography Competition

Pregnant Daphnia magna (small planktonic crustacean)

Marek Miś

Marek Mis Photography
Suwalki, Podlaskie, Poland

Modified Darkfield, Polarized Light, Image Stacking

4x (Objective Lens Magnification)

In Their Own Words

A Q&A with Nikon Small World winner Marek Miś.

What is the subject matter of your winning image and why did you choose this image?

The image presents a pregnant cladoceran Daphnia magna with a lot of embryos inside. I submitted it because of its beauty (details, colors) and the fact that it shows a mother with the next generation. It symbolizes the continuity of generations. The offspring are almost ready to leave their mother and begin their own life. The image also shows very good details of the cladoceran’s body with its muscles, antennae and other internal organs.

What are the special techniques and/or challenges faced in creating this photomicrograph?

The color effect derives from two special illumination techniques: darkfield and polarized light. Additionally, darkfield was slightly modified to obtain such an interesting final result. The main challenge was to immobilize the subject. I used a high temperature for a very short time to take several images which were stacked with Helicon Focus.

How long have you been taking photographs through a microscope? What first sparked your interest in photomicrography?

I have been taking photographs through the microscope regularly for 10 years. But I took my first micrographs (black & white ones) in 1980. I want to show other people the beauty of the microworld. It also gives me artistic satisfaction because I try to portray the subjects as some kind of art.

Do you tend to focus your microscopy toward a specific subject matter or theme? If so, why?

No, I do not have focus on one specific theme or subject. I love the huge variety of the microworld and I photograph many subjects, ranging from air bubbles to various microorganisms, small animals body parts, and crystals of different substances.