Nikon’s Small World
Celebrating 44 years of images captured by the light microscope
Nikon’s Small World is regarded as the leading forum for showcasing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope. The Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in microscopy and photography. The video competition, entitled Small World In Motion encompasses any movie or digital time-lapse photography taken through the microscope.
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.
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.
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.
Nikon Small World Contest Rules
- Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible, with the exception of employees of Nikon, their families, the contest judges, and individuals engaged in the manufacture or sale of microscopes, related accessories or photographic equipment.
- Former first prizewinners are ineligible to win first prize in the three contests immediately following the contest they won, but can win other prizes.
- Any image that has won any other photomicrography competition is not eligible.
- Photomicrographs must be taken using a light microscope, such as one of the Nikon series of microscopes. All types of light microscopy and specimens are acceptable. Electron and any other microscopes that do not capture imagery using optical light technology are not permitted.
- Macro Photography is not permitted.
- The use of Nikon equipment is not required.
- No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
- Images must be submitted as follows:
- Digitally: Uploading to the Small World Competition entry area here. Images must be in jpeg, png, psd, or tiff format and videos in flv, mp4, mpg, wmv, avi, mov format. (Please submit the highest quality image with regard to file size, bit depth, and resolution.)
- For images on film, a 35mm mounted transparency will be accepted. Glass mounts are not accepted.
- Small World in Motion entries are further limited to:
- Movie length of no more than 60 seconds
- The use of sound is not permitted
- It is not permitted to add graphics of any kind
Nikon reserves the right to edit winning movies for format and length for promotional purposes.
- Each entrant may submit up to three images in each contest for judging. A completed and signed official entry form, facsimile, or complete Internet entry form must be used. A separate entry form must be used for Small World and Small World in Motion.
- Entries will be judged on:
- Informational Content
- Technical Proficiency
- Artistic and Visual Impact
- Entries must be received no later than April 30, 2019. Entries received after that date will be automatically rolled in to the following year’s competition.
- Please send correspondence to Nikon’s Small World Competition, Nikon Instruments Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747-3064 USA or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prizewinners will be notified by August 15, 2019.
- The judging panel for Nikon Small World Contest is selected solely by Nikon Instruments Inc and is final. The decision of Nikon’s panel of judges is final.
- All files will be retained by Nikon Instruments Inc., and will not be returned.
- By submitting an entry to either or both of these competitions, you agree that:
- If your entry is selected by Nikon as a winning image, (either: top 20, Honorable mention or image of distinction) you give Nikon non-exclusive irrevocable, worldwide rights to use your name, likeness and the winning movie/image in connection with the competition as Nikon sees fit.
- You certify and warrant that you hold the rights to grant such permission and agree to hold Nikon harmless in any disputes that arise out of image ownership/rights.
- Image copyright remains the property of the artist/photographer even though permission to use imagery is given to Nikon.
- Winning images will only be used in connection with the Nikon Small World Competition and accompanying publicity and will include appropriate photo credits.
- Should submitted images have more than one individual to be credited, the names must be provided on the entry form. Individual entering the competition also warrants that they have the right to enter the image on the other parties behalf and holds Nikon harmless in any disputes that arise thereof.
- All reasonable care will be taken in handling photos and digital files, but Nikon Instruments Inc. does not assume responsibility for their loss or damage.
- Void where prohibited or otherwise restricted by local laws.
- Taxes, if any, on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner.
- This contest falls under any rules and regulations for such contests by the laws of the United States. Including Copyright laws
- Failure to comply with and accept all of the preceding rules will disqualify any entry and Nikon reserves the right to disqualify any entrant for any reason at Nikon’s sole discretion.
- Nikon reserves the right to change or modify the rules at any time without notice.
Top 20 prize winners are selected and ranked by Small World Judges.
- 1st Prize – $3,000
- 2nd Prize – $2,000
- 3rd Prize – $1,000
- 4th Prize – $800
- 5th Prize – $600
- 6th Prize – $400
- 7th-10th Prizes – $300 each
- 11th-20th Prizes – $200 each
- Honorable Mentions – $100 each
- Images of Distinction – Nikon Backpack (or equivalent)
Prizes for top 3 winners are paid by check in US funds and other prizes are paid by Visa gift card also in US funds. Winners responsible for all applicable taxes.