A photomicrograph of agatized dinosaur bone cells, by University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point photographer Doug Moore was a winning entry in the 2011 Nikon Small World International Photography Competition.
The competition began in 1974 to, according to Nikon, “Recognize and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography through the microscope.”
The competition has become the top forum for showing the beauty and complexity of life captured under the microscope. It showcases photomicrographers from all over the world, and from a wide range of scientific disciplines.
A former field biologist and naturalist, Moore has been a keen collector of rocks, as well as agates and dinosaur bones, for over 50 years. After taking a few courses in light microscopy and microscopy techniques at UWSP, Moore became more involved with microscopes and began photographing agates. Moore explained that the knowledge of lighting is what separates the amateurs from the professional
Moore is not new to the microscope photography world, as he entered an image of algae in 1993 and received an honorable mention award. Moore didn’t spend too much time looking at the competition, but was surprised at his recognition. Most entries were of living materials, and Moore’s image stood out because, as he states, along with the photograph having strong patterns and color, “it was a different subject matter than most.”
Using a stereomicroscope, Moore photographed the 150-million-yearold unpolished slab of dinosaur bone, which was from Utah’s Morrison Formation.
Moore’s photograph was recognized out of 17,000 entries from 68 countries and is featured in the Nikon Small World 2012 Calendar. Moore encourages students to enter photo competitions.
“If you have the photos, why not?” Moore said.