There are some amazing science-related images out there on the internet. The most famous and some might say, prestigious, microscopy-oriented competition is the Nikon Small World Competition which has been going since 1974. The subject matter is not limited to biological material – the only stipulation that the image is generated using some form of microscopy (low or high end). The images that get shortlisted every year are simply stunning.
Our very own Paul Appleton (Division of Cell and Developmental Biology) won first prize in 2006 with a beautiful and technically brilliant 2-photon image of mouse colon.
A vintage year for Dundee entrants since Alan Prescott (Division of Cell Biology and Immunology) and Paul both got an image selected in the “honorable mention” section.
The 2008 prize went to Michael Stringer’s Image of diatoms – a beautifully understated set of sweeps of colour that made me question whether I was looking at an image from nature or an artist’s brush strokes.
There were also two of Paul’s images selected as “Images of Distinction”.
In the dim and distant past (2002 and 2005) I even had a couple of image in the top 20 🙂 and an “image of distinction” 2007.
Another excellent competition is the Olympus BioScapes Competition.
Dundee has had honourable mentions in 2008 (Aaron Quyn) and 2004/2005 (me).
Both these competitions are pretty straight-up-and-down cell/organism based image competitions with emphasis on the technical achievement combined with aesthetic appeal.
Other competitions are broader in their scope. An example is the Visions of Science and Technology Competition, which seems not to be running anymore (last reference on the website is 2007). In this competition grand themes such as Concepts, Art, Close Up, Action and People. Many of the images are proper photographs of a very journalistic nature or classical wildlife photography. In that way it was an interesting competition. I wonder what happened to it though. Lack of Funding?
A major competition co-run by Science and the NSF is the International Science and Engineering Visualisation Challenge
The categories are:
Check out the previous winners – seriously hardcore visualisation folks!