The Nikon Prize in the Small World category was won by the click worthy shutterbug who took a microscopic picture of honey bee optics.
The Aussie, Ralph Grimm won first prize in the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. He had taken a mindbogglingly close-up view of a honey bee’s eye. The optical details of the buzzing creature that was peppered with dandelion pollen were a sight to behold.
The image looks like it is from an alien world and it lends insight into how bees gaze upon the vistas that lie before them in their unique style of vision.
Besides the Australian, Nikon tallied over 77 other prize-winning candidates from all around the world. The 2015 Small World Competition arranged by Nikon consisted of a cream of the crop in the form of a Top 20 List.
There were also a dozen Honorable Mentions and 56 Images of Distinction. With 83 nations participating in the toughest of arenas in the visual arts, the pace of the candidates vying with each other was feverish in its pitch. Those who grabbed the coveted prizes were more or less highly skilled and had artistic and scientific qualities.
“Each year we are blown away by the incredible quality and quantity of microscopic images submitted from all over the world, from scientists, artists, and photomicrographers of all levels and backgrounds. This year was certainly no exception,” said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments.
“Judges had their work cut out for them in narrowing down from such a rich pool of applicants, and we are so pleased with the results. Each of these winning images exhibits the exemplary technique, scientific discipline and artistry for which Nikon Small World is known.”
The annual competition has submissions of beautiful micro-level photographs from all over the Global Village we inhabit. The pics are judged on the basis of their beauty and expertise. And it is here that the smallest and most intricate details count.
They differentiate the excelling minority from the mediocre majority. People from all vocations and fields of endeavor enter the competition in order to test their skills. In 2015, the entrants did not disappoint the judges by their repertoire of delivery. The distillation of the results from such a talented pool of photo-fanatics was truly a backbreaking task.
Grimm, the Australian who won the first prize, had full mastery over his domain. It took him four hours of careful handling to mount the honey bee eye on the slide before he took the micro-photograph. There was the focal length to consider too.
Then arrangement of proper lighting and the task of smudging during the stacking process were additional burdens. Yet the sweet smell of success erased all of Grimm’s physical pain and soothed his tired and frayed nerves.
Grimm has served in the capacity of a beekeeper in the past. He hopes this image will inspire governments and world leaders to do something about the plight of honey bees whose populations are dwindling day by day.
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“In a way I feel as though this gives us a glimpse of the world through the eye of a bee,” says Grimm. “It’s a subject of great sculptural beauty, but also a warning- that we should stay connected to our planet, listen to the little creatures like bees, and find a way to protect the earth that we all call home.”