Winners of WSC19: Microscopy images

The following post list the winners of WSC 2019.

Daphnia giving birth

The winning image of the Microscopy category presents us cladoceran from Daphnia genus giving birth. It was taken by Marek Miś.

Comment from the author:

I am a biologist by profession. I have been interested in photography since I was 12 years old. I was always interested in the world of small things, and that is why macro photography attracted me from the very beginning. The adventure with the microscope began a year or two later, when I dug out of my father’s dusty and old Paul de Kruif’s book “Microbe hunters.” This book changed my life. Although I have always been interested in nature, reading this book directed my interests towards a completely different world, the one imperceptible to the naked eye. I wanted to discover the secrets of the microcosm.

I built my own microscopes, and what I saw through them, I drew. I drew primarily for myself, like many before me. In the early eighties I took my first black-and-white photomicrograph. Due to various problems of that time (hardware shortages, financial difficulties), I abandoned microphotography for a long time, until 2009, when I bought my first digital camera. Digital technology has opened up completely new possibilities for me. Since then, I have devoted myself to this field completely. I photograph not only for myself, I also want to show to others the undeniable and often surprising beauty of the microworld.

Sometimes, while we observe the world under a microscope, in addition to admiring the microcosm, we can witness certain biological processes happening here and now. We can, for example, observe the proliferation of protozoa by division or, the conjugation of the artery. With a bit of luck, we can sometimes observe the mystery of the birth of a new organism, as was the case with this winning photography.

The photo was made in a combined lighting technique – dark field and polarization. It is thanks to these techniques that the photographed object owes its rich colors. The photo shows more young daphnia waiting in the mother’s breeding chamber to be born, to cope with its challenges, and a little later to release the next generation.


Crystals, mainly sugar, in a dried Coca Cola droplet, taken with a microscope using cross-polarization. Author: Alexander Klepnev from Russia
Eye of Chrysopidae (stacking of 30 frames). Author: Грибков Михаил from Russia
3D projection of a Patiria miniata bipinnaria. Author: Natalie Carrigan from the USA
“Coffee ring” from aluminium oxide particles (150 nm) on cover glass coated with gold (thickness 20 nm). Authors: Мохаммед Аль-Музайкер & Таир Есенбаев from Russia
Escherichia coli growing on Eosin methylene blue (EMB) media with its distinctive green metallic sheen. Author: Gene Drendel from Australia
Surface oxides of conductive 3D copper structures visible under the microscope as a blueish glimmer. Author: David Pervan from the United Kingdom

Images were published under CC BY 4.0 license.