Nikon has announced the winning photos from the 2018 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition, the 44th annual contest celebrating “excellence in photography through the light microscope.”
The first place photo, shown above and captured by Emirati photographer Yousef Al Habshi, shows part of the compound eye of an Asian Red Palm weevil and the greenish scales that surround it. The beetle is usually less than 0.43in (11mm) in length.
Al Habshi created the photo using reflected light and by stacking 128 micrographs into a single photo.
“The main challenge was to show the black body against the black background without overexposing the skin and scales,” the photographer says. “Because of the variety of coloring and the lines that display in the eyes of insects, I feel like I’m photographing a collection of jewelry. Not all people appreciate small species, particularly insects.
“Through photomicrography we can find a whole new, beautiful world which hasn’t been seen before. It’s like discovering what lies under the ocean’s surface.”
Here is a selection of other winning photos from this year’s competition:
Bug in Bubble House
Stalks and Pollen
Human Cell Division
Butterfly Wing Scales
A Mite on a Bee
Breast Tissue in Lactation
You can find the complete gallery of winning photos on the Nikon Small World Competition website.