It’s been a while since these photos won the Nikon International Small World Photomicrography Competition in 2010, but their quality and intensity just makes me want to share them again. The competition began in 1974 as a means to recognize and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography through the light microscope. Here are the winners, and all image credits go to Nikon Small World

Magnified 30 times, this is an image of a Hydropsyche angustipennis (caddisfly) larva head made by Fabrice Parais, of DREAL de Basse-Normandie in Caen, France.

This 5th Place image of a Strelitzia reginae (bird of paradise) seed magnified 10 times comes from Viktor Sykora of the Institute of Pathophysiology, First Medical Faculty, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. This image was made with a stereomicroscopy technique called darkfield illumination.

Magnified 400 times, this is a 2-Photon fluorescence image of glial cells in the cerebellum. Glial cells provide support for the brain’s neurons. This image was made by Thomas Deerinck of the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of California, San Diego.

The turbinate eyes of male mayfly magnified 10 times. Image made by Laurie Knight of Tonbridge, Kent, UK.

Seen at a magnification of 63x, this is an image of recrystallized sulfur made by Dr. Edward Leighman Gafford from Ventura, California.

Tiny bones are seen inside a the limbs of a developing Eleutherodactylus coqui (frog), magnified 20 times. Image made by Dr. Mike Klymkowsky of MCD Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder in Boulder, Colorado.

Two human cancer cells seen just before they divide into four cells, viewed at 100x magnification. This image of Telophase HeLa (cancer) cells expressing Aurora B-EGFP took 11th place and was made by Dr. Paul D. Andrews of the University of Dundee in Dundee, Scotland.

A single egg from a Hemiargus isola (Reakirt’s blue butterfly) rests on Mimosa strigillosa (pink powderpuff) buds, viewed at 6x magnification. Image made by David Millard from Austin, Texas.

A radiolarian, a type of zooplankton, is seen magnified 250x in this image made by Raymond Sloss of the Northamptonshire Natural History Society in Northampton, UK.

This 10th place winner is an image of crystallized soy sauce magnified 16 times, seen in reflected and transmitted light. Image made by Yanping Wang of the Beijing Language and Culture University in Beijing, China.

Magnified 250 times, this is a view of Scagelia sp. (red algae) made by Dr. Arlene Wechezak from Anacortes, Washington, USA.

Dr. Gregory Rouse took 12th Place with this darkfield image of a juvenile bivalve mollusc, (Lima sp.), magnified 10 times. Dr. Rouse is from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.

Pekka Honkakoski of Sonkajarvi, Finland brings us this image of a snow crystal magnified 40 times.

This image of a radial crystal spray of a phosphate mineral called cacoxenite viewed at at 18x magnification took 8th Place. The image was made by Honorio Cocera-La Parra of the Geology Museum, University of Valencia in Benetusser, Valencia, Spain.

Patterns of light are seen in soap film, magnified 150 times in this 18th place image by Gerd Guenther from Dusseldorf, Germany.

A close-in view of the basal leg segments of a Heteroscodra maculata (ornamental baboon tarantula) magnified 40 times. Image made by Tyrel Pinnegar from Nanaimo, Canada.

Dr. Duane Harland took 9th place with his flourescent image of Ctenocephalides canis (flea), viewed at 20x magnification. Dr. HArland is with AgResearch Ltd. in Lincoln, New Zealand.