Every year, Nikon holds the Small World Photomicrography Competition for the enthusiasts of macro-photography. This is the art of capturing extreme close-up imagery, usually of very small subjects and living organisms like insects.

And each year, they are kind enough to share the winners with all of us.

More than 2,000 entries were received from 90 countries in 2020, the 46th year of the competition.


Check out the worlds within our worlds man…

Image of Distinction: A 20 million-year-old winged ant, trapped in amber resin – Dr. Yuan Ji, Shanghai, China

Image of Distinction: A short-tailed fruit bat embryo (Carollia perspicillata) – Zuzana Vavrušová & Dr. Richard R. Behringer, UCSF / Université Paris-Saclay

12th Place Winner: A knotted human hair – Robert Vierthaler, Pfarrwerfen, Salzburg, Austria

Image of Distinction: A brightfield image of cyanobacteria (Dolichospermum) – Wim van Egmond, Berkel en Rodenrijs, Zuid Holland, Netherlands

5th Place: A close view of a bogong moth – Ahmad Fauzan, Jakarta, Indonesia

Image of Distinction: The body of a Chaoboridae larva with nervous system and fat droplets – Anne Gleich, Kaiserslautern, Rheinlandpfalz, Germany

Image of Distinction: Slime mold – Sergii Dymchenko, Bellevue, Washington, USA

Honorable Mention: A ship-timber beetle (Lymexylidae) – Marco Vinicio Retana, Palmares, Alajuela, Costa Rica

Image of Distinction: Wing scales from a butterfly (Papilio palinurus) – Marco Jongsma, Lemmer, Friesland, Netherlands

Image of Distinction: The embryo of an anemone fish (Amphiprion percula) – Daniel Knop, Oberzent-Airlenbach, Hessen, Germany

Image of Distinction: Mouse brain cells grown within a microfluidic maze – Esmeralda Paric & Holly Stefen, Macquarie Park, NSW, Australia

mage of Distinction: Diatoms (a single-celled alga which has a cell wall of silica) – Ken Schwarz & Dr. Osamu Oku, Lexington, Massachusetts, USA

4th Place: Multi-nucleate spores and hyphae of a soil fungus (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus) – Dr. Vasileios Kokkoris, Dr. Franck Stefani & Dr. Nicolas Corradi, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Image of Distinction: The interior of an unopened camellia flower bud showing immature anther and filament – Charles Krebs, Issaquah, Washington, USA

Image of Distinction: A jumping spider (Salticidae) – Andrei Nica, Bucharest, Romania, Romania

13th Place: Crystals formed after heating an ethanol and water solution containing L-glutamine and beta-alanine – Justin Zoll, Ithaca, New York, USA

Image of Distinction: Daphnia (water microorganism) – Paweł Błachowicz, Końskie, Świętokrzyskie, Poland

16th Place: Nylon stockings – Alexander Klepnev, Moscow, Russian Federation

Image of Distinction: A moth (Ctenucha brunnea) – Dr. Andrew Posselt, San Francisco, Mill Valley, California, USA

Image of Distinction: Salt crystals from the Salar de Uyuni brine (the world’s largest salt flat located in Bolivia, Africa) – Maria Jesus Redrejo Rodriguez & Dr. Eberhardt Josue Friedrich Kernahan, Madrid, Spain

Honorable Mention: The tongue of a freshwater snail (Radula) – Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, Ashburn, Virginia, USA

6th Place: Hebe plant anther with pollen – Dr. Robert Markus & Zsuzsa Markus, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

Image of Distinction: An agatized dinosaur bone – Randy Fullbright, Vernal, Utah, USA

Image of Distinction: The structure of an insect wing – Aigars Jukna, Riga, Latvia

Honorable Mention: Liquid crystals in a mobile LCD screen – Alexey Marchenko, Gomel, Belarus

Honorable Mention: A beetle’s leg – Aigars Jukna, Riga, Latvia

Image of Distinction: Cell division in microalgae (Cosmarium) – Rogelio Moreno, Panama, Panama

18th Place: A close view of an atlas moth’s wing – Chris Perani, San Rafael, California, USA