The only rule for the Nikon Small Worlds Competition is the shot has to be through a microscope but it helps if you use a high end confocal microscope with high-res digital camera. Over 2500 scientist/artists entered the competition with the top 25 on display at the Wistar Institute, 3601 Spruce Street. James E. Hayden of the Microscopy Core Facility explained to DoN and an audience of Photographic Society of Philadelphia members how new technology allows the scientist to photograph biologic or crystal microscopic objects in layers of depth of field focus which then are combined into a single image almost as simply as using Photoshop (on steroids). Shot MRI style in thin layers, the level of magnification and detail is amazing. Hayden explained how the discovery of transgenic mutation of cells to use fluorescent genes from jellyfish have replaced toxic dyes allowing better images of “reality”. DoN has come across transgenic art before with Eduardo Qac’s Transgenic Bunny but these photos take the ouvre to a new level of sophistication and beauty.
The red blob is a carbon nano-tubule which is stronger and harder than diamonds or steel; the bug is a beach sand flea.
15th place, Wim van Egmond, Microscopic Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. “Radiolarians, fossil shells”, (160x). Differential Interference Contrast.
Scientist/artist James E. Hayden of the Microscopy Core Facility in his office at The Wistar Institute with the many magazine covers on which his photos have appeared. Hayden’s office is deep underground so that vibration is minimized when using the sensitive microscopes. DoN was shown an experiment underway in which live bacteria were being photographed through a microscope every five minutes for seven days, which will be a record if the bacteria don’t die first.
The Nikon Small World Exhibit is open through March 13th, weekdays 9AM – 5PM.
Eric Kalkman, Dr. Tamily Weissman “Brainbow“, and Monica Pons @ The Wistar Institute.