Nikon’s Small World – Photomicrography Competition

Nikon’s Small World – Photomicrography Competition

Deadline: April 30, 2021
Entry fee: Free
Prizes: from $100 to $3,000, valuable prizes

Nikon’s Small World is regarded as the leading forum for showcasing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope. The Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in microscopy and photography. The video competition, entitled Small World In Motion encompasses any movie or digital time-lapse photography taken through the microscope.

The Nikon Small World Competition first began in 1975 as a means to recognize and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography through the light microscope. Since then, Small World has become a leading showcase for photomicrographers from the widest array of scientific disciplines.

A photomicrograph is a technical document that can be of great significance to science or industry. But a good photomicrograph is also an image whose structure, color, composition, and content is an object of beauty, open to several levels of comprehension and appreciation.

The Nikon Small World Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography through the microscope. Winners have included both professionals and hobbyists.

Nikon welcomes a broad range of subject matter, and any type of light microscopy technique is acceptable, including phase contrast, polarized light, fluorescence, interference contrast, darkfield, confocal, deconvolution, and mixed techniques. Entries submitted to Nikon are then judged by an independent panel of experts who are recognized authorities in the area of photomicrography and photography. These entries are judged on the basis of originality, informational content, technical proficiency and visual impact.

Exhibition Tour

Each year, the top 20 prize-winners are exhibited at numerous museums and science centers throughout the United States and Canada. Many winning images have also been featured on the covers of prestigious scientific and industrial journals.

Guidelines and Restrictions

Each Entrant may upload a maximum of three (3) Images during the Competition Entry Period.


  • First Prize: Three Thousand U.S. Dollars ($3,000.00)
  • Second Prize: Two Thousand U.S. Dollars ($2,000.00)
  • Third Prize: One Thousand U.S. Dollars ($1,000.00)
  • Fourth Prize: Eight Hundred U.S. Dollars ($800.00)
  • Fifth Prize: Six Hundred U.S. Dollars ($600.00)
  • Sixth Prize: Four Hundred U.S. Dollars ($400.00)
  • Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Prizes: Three Hundred U.S. Dollars ($300.00) each
  • Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Prizes: Two Hundred U.S. Dollars ($200.00) each
  • Honorable Mentions: One Hundred U.S. Dollars ($100.00) each. The number of Honorable Mention Prizes will be determined by the Judges in their sole discretion
  • Images of Distinction: One (1) Nikon-branded backpack having a retail value of approximately Thirty-Five (USD$35.00) Dollars (the “Bag”). The number of Images of Distinction Prizes will be determined by the Judges in their sole discretion


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