The following images demonstrate the beauty and artistic order of nature at the microscopic level.

Nikon and Olympus camera companies each hold annual contests of photos taken through microscopes.  Winners use a variety of techniques (like polarizing, fluorescence, lasering) and magnifications ranging from 40 times the actual size to 50,000 or more.  Clicking on photos will take you to the winning galleries of the two companies.

by Albert Tousson/High Resolution Imaging Facility/University of Alabama at Birmingham

This is a lily of the valley petal magnified 1300 times using laser light.  The green and yellow balls are starch granules.

by John Hart/Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado

The photographer mixed sulfur, a blue dye and an antiseptic to create this crystal with bubbles and tubes.  His specialty at the University of Colorado is fluid dynamics.

by Mr. Karl Deckart Eckental, Germany

Soap bubbles.

Dr. Jonatas Bussador do Amaral and Dr. Gláucia Machado-Santelli São Paulo, Brazil

Ant thoracic salivary gland.

Lars Bech, Naarden, The Netherlands

Nicotinic acid amide melted with lidocaine (50x)

Dr. John H. Henson Department of Biology - Dickinson College

Sea Urchin embryo dividing (1000x)

by Charles Krebs

From the eye area of a jewel beetle, these colors are all taken with natural light, enlarged 40 times.

By Marc Van Hove of Centexbel in Belgium

A chystalized solgel chemical magnified 50 times.  I tried finding out what solgel is.  It was too complicated for me.  Here’s the simplest explanation:  Sol gel is a colloidal suspension of silica particles that is gelled to form a solid.  See what I mean?  But  it’s delicate stained-glass beauty was too hard to pass up.

Dr. Giuliano Zanchetta Milan, Italy

Liquid Crystalline DNA

Jens Rüchel Department of Zoology - University of Osnabrück, Germany

aquatic worm) (10x)

Dr. Margaret Oechsli, Jewish Hospital, Heart & Lung Institute, Louisville, Kentucky

Anti-cancer Drug,  Mitomycin

Dr. Tsutomu Seimiya Tokyo Metropolitan University

Soap film

Algae, green and red

Dr. Stephen Nagy, Helena, MT

Some other kind of algae


Dr. Sondra Barrett Sebastopol, CA


White Wine

See comment below.

4 thoughts on “Microscopic Photos as Art

  1. The white wine – my photograph – is of drops of wine – moscato azul (La Sirena) allowed to evaporate on a microscope slide. Its actually a family of molecules that have ‘collaborated’ to create this ‘signature’ of the wine’s beauty. Those who know the winemaker say this is a perfect representation of who she is and her wines.

    This site is beautiful though I would have liked to see attribution for each image.

  2. Sondra,
    You are absolutely right.
    There should be attribution for each image. And in fact, when I went to my blog dashboard to check, every image had attribution. I don’t know why it didn’t show up in the actual post. I never noticed that it didn’t.

    Thanks to my computer consultant, it is now fixed. And I appreciate you pointing it out.

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