No matter who you are or what you do, you’ve been bitten by a bug at some point in your life – and they really are a nuisance. But for Igor Siwanowicz, a bug bite turned out to be all but annoying, as it helped him win the 2011 Nikon International Small World photography contest.
This photo of a teal insect larva with dangerously-looking jaws snatched first prize with quite some luck, as Igor fought off his first instinct of squashing the bug after being bitten, and instead put it in a test tube to photograph later.
“My art causes a dissonance for its viewer — a conflict between the culturally imprinted perception of an insect as something repulsive and ugly with a newly acquired admiration of the beauty of its form,” said Siwanowicz, who completed his doctoral studies in protein crystallography but now works in invertebrate photography for research. “My hope is that in some way, my photomicrographs prompt people to realize the presence of cultural programming, question it, and eventually throw it off as an illusion.”
A big contest with small targets
Nikon first organized this event in 1974 (!), and since then, both scientists and photographers have been participating with more and more interesting entries.
Even though the panel of judges has already had their say and chose the best 20 photomicrographs as well as the honorable mentions, the public can still vote and make it matter until 30 October here.
So, take a look around, and tell us, which one’s your favorite? If you ask me, they’re all just fabulous!
Andrei's background is in geophysics, and he's been fascinated by it ever since he was a child. Feeling that there is a gap between scientists and the general audience, he started ZME Science -- and the results are what you see today.