For 34 years, Nikon has sponsored the "Small World" photomicrography competition to showcase, as they put it, "the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope."
The official judging for the 2007 contest took place on May, and now website visitors may rate the top 100 entries. Winners will be announced this fall.
The site also showcases winning entries from previous years. The deadline for entries in next year's competition is April 30, 2008. First prize gets $3,000 toward the purchase of Nikon equipment.
Shown here are two of the top entries from the 2007 competition. The first, taken by Christian Gautier of the BIOS/PHONE Photo Agency in France with a polarized light microscope, is a 200-times magnification of a Cedrus atlantica (cedar) leaf crosscut.
The second image is a 15-times magnified interference image of draining soap film, taken by Tsutomu Seimiya of Tokyo Metropolitan University with a simple microscope.
Photos courtesy of Nikon Instruments