PacSci Perspectives

Top Tiny Images On Display

by | Jun 30, 2016

Nikon Small World Winner 2015

Photo by Ralph Claus Grimm of Jimboomba, Queensland, Australia. Eye of a honey bee (Apis mellifera) covered in dandelion pollen (120x) using reflected light.

Have you ever seen the eye of a honey bee? You will when you view the top 20 finishers in the annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition now on display at Pacific Science Center.

First place in the annual competition went to Australian Ralph Grimm for his incredible close-up image of a bee eye covered in dandelion pollen grains. Grimm’s winning image is not only visually striking, but brings to light just how little is understood about how these incredible insects see the world.

In addition to Grimm, Nikon recognized over 77 other winners of the 2015 Small World competition, including a ranked Top Twenty, 12 Honorable Mentions and 56 Images of Distinction. With submissions spanning 83 countries, competition was tough. Judges selected winners that displayed not only artistic quality but exceptional scientific technique.

“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.”

Top Five Images:

1. Ralph Claus Grimm, Eye of a honey bee (Apis mellifera) covered in dandelion pollen
2. Kristen Earle, Gabriel Billings, KC Huang & Justin Sonnenburg, Mouse colon colonized with human microbiota
3. Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, Intake of a humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba), a freshwater carnivorous plant
4. Daniel H. Miller & Ethan S. Sokol, Lab-grown human mammary gland organoid
5. Dr. Giorgio Seano & Dr. Rakesh K. Jain, Live imaging of perfused vasculature in a mouse brain with glioblastoma

The top 20 images can be viewed in our Ackerley Family Exhibit Gallery near the Boeing IMAX Theater. For more information, visit