The Olympus Bioscapes Digital Imaging Competition has some incredible entries for photographs of organisms you can barely believe are part of this planet. Above is one such example. It won first place, and is a photograph of underwater creature Rotifer Floscularia that uses rapidly beating cilia (hair-like structures) to bring food-laden water in so it can feed. It was taken by Charles Krebs of Issaquah, Washington.
The Olympus BioScapes Competition, which is "the world's premier platform for honoring images and movies of human, plant and animal subjects as captured through light microscopes," is in its eighth year, and the images submitted for consideration show that the standards just keep going up. People from all over the US and around the world turned in work that is simply amazing.
NOAA/NOS/NCCOS Fort Johnson Marine Resources Center Charleston, South Carolina, USA Specimen: Live coral Goniastrea sp., known as green brain coral. One full polyp in the center is shown with four surrounding polyps. Walled corallites are purple.
Photographers' images are judged not just on beauty but also the technical expertise it takes to capture these amazing creatures in art. Submissions are made up of both images and movies.
From a press release, "This year's winning images and movies reflect the latest advances in neuroscience and cell biology, along with amazing glimpses of the unseen world captured by hobbyists. Four of the Top 10 prizewinners in this year's competition were videos showing the wonders of life in action on a microscopic scale. Second Prize went to an amazing time-lapse movie of a cress plant (Arabidopsis thaliana) developing new roots over a 75-hour period. The movie was captured by Daniel von Wangenheim, of Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany."
Stink bug eggs; image taken using brightfield illumination
"BioScapes images and movies remind us that our world is endlessly beautiful and fascinating," said Hidenao Tsuchiya, Group Vice President and General Manager, Scientific Equipment Group, Olympus America Inc. "They also open a window to some of the most important and compelling research going on in laboratories around the world. The BioScapes Competition, with entries representing dozens of countries and every field of life science, allows Olympus to bring scientists' amazing images and stories to the world."
You can view all the winners and honorable mentions at the Olympus BioScapes website.