Glimpse into a remarkable world that most have never seen. It is a window into the universe that can only be seen through the lens of a microscope, when Nikon Small World’s award winning photomicrographs exhibition opens June 13 at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge.
Combining the skills in microscopy and photography, a photomicrograph is able to capture an image of the world that the naked eye cannot see. A freelance photographer and artist with a passion for aquatic microorganisms, Wim van Egmond of The Netherlands, sought to blend art and science to capture the complexity and stunning detail of this fragile helical chain.
“I approach micrographs as if they are portraits. The same way you look at a person and try to capture their personality, I observe an organism and try to capture it as honestly and realistically as possible,” said Egmond of his winning image of a marine diatom, a colonial plankton organism. “At the same time, this image is about form, rhythm and composition. The positioning of the helix, the directions of the bristles, the subdued colors, and contrast all bring together a balance that is both dynamic and tranquil.”
To capture the great complexity and detail of his winning diatom in three dimensions, Egmond employed a partial image stack of more than 90 images. Foregoing traditional bright, saturated colors, he adjusted the illumination to create a subdued, blue background to contrast the natural yellow-brown color of the diatom.
“This competition brings together some of the top talent from around the world, from all walks of life and scientific disciplines, with more incredible entries submitted each year,” said Eric Flem, communications manager, Nikon Instruments. “After 39 years, we are proud to watch the competition continue to grow, allowing us to honor this pool of talented researchers, artists, and photomicrographers, and showcase the importance and beauty of the work they do in the realm of scientific imaging.”
The American Museum of Science and Energy is located at 300 South Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge. It is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
AMSE admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors (65+), $3 for students (6-17), and no charge for children five and under. AMSE members are free. Group rates are available with advance reservations for 20 or more.
For more information, visit www.amse.org or call AMSE at (865) 576-3200.
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