The Nikon International 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.
In 2011, Nikon announced that it would begin accepting movies taken through the microscope as a new category in the 37th annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. The introduction of this new category, titled Small World in Motion, encompasses any movie or digital time-lapse photography taken through the microscope and adds a new, distinct discipline to the competition. The movies are judged and honored as a separate category in the competition, complete with prizes for first, second and third places.
The subject matter is unrestricted 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.