Nikon Small World Contest.
New York City
September 24, 2003
by Ted Kinsman, USA
This year, after four years of entering the Nikon
Small World Contest, one of my images placed in the top 20. I
must say, I did not place in the top 20 by much – my image of a
snowflake came in 19th.
In mid August I was notified that my image placed in the contest and by late August I had received an invitation to the awards ceremony in NYC. The invitation had a very interesting picture on the cover, it was not identified. I was to soon learn this image would become the identifying image of the year for the contest and it was Loes Modderman’s picture that placed 20th, just behind my image of a snowflake.
Even though I live in New York State, my home is about a 6 hour drive from New York City and I would not normally make the trip. It just so happened that I needed to be in NYC a few weeks after the award ceremony for a meeting with a photo editor. After some phone calls I rearranged my meeting so as to be in town at the time of the awards ceremony.
The event was run by a public relations company, and they rented a very elegant location. The event was held on the 30th floor of the Reuters Building overlooking Times Square in New York City.
With my afternoon meeting out of the way I walked across town to Times Square about 5pm in time for the awards ceremony. The Reuters building is hidden by huge billboards, flashing lights and all the glitter that Times Square is known for. I kept searching for the building numbers, but gave up when I found Reuters spelled out in 15 meter high letters. After a quick pass through the building security I rode a stainless steel and glass elevator to the 30th floor.
The event was situated to be central to many of the photo and magazine
editors that work in the city – and these are the people that made up
most of the audience. The ceremony was run by Barb Short of
Keating Public Relations. Barb Short was responsible for renting
the location as well as making sure the images found their way into
numerous articles, books, and magazines. The event was presided over by
Lee Shuett, Executive Vice President of Nikon Instruments, who kindly
introduced each of the dozen photographers in attendance. The
guest of honor was Dr. Torsten Wittmann, a researcher from The Scripps
Research Institute in La Jolla, Ca. His wonderful image of mouse
fibroblasts (cells) took first place this year. He was also flown
to NYC at the expense of Nikon.
The ceremony proceedings started by all the guests partaking in a light dinner of sushi, pasta, or roast beef with complimentary drinks. The talk among the crowd was of the images, the food, and the view in about that order. I was first taken by the amazing view before setting my sights on the equally amazing images placed on the south wall of the conference room.
I was disappointed that only the top 20 images were placed on display. The twenty honorable mentions were included in the back of the 2004 calendar, but they are published quite small. It would have been great to see these images along with the rest. I strongly believe that the majority of the images could have been shuffled in any order, any one of the top 40 could have been a winner.
I was a bit nervous to bring my digital camera since it was a Canon D60, I kept it tucked behind my jacket most of the time. The official photographer that was hired for the event mentioned to me that he specifically had left his other equipment home and was only shooting pictures with his Nikon D1 for the evening.
The evening was definitely a success and a grand time was had by all the scientists, publishers, editors, and friends of science.
It there is one picture that appears most often it must be the image of crystallized caustic soda by Loes Modderman – this image placed 20th. Visually exciting and holding a pattern and color that give it a very modern feel – it seems to be the image of choice by photo editors when reviewing the selection of winning entries. I am not sure how Nikon came up with the order of the awards, but I sure hope I come in 20th place next year.
All comments to the author Ted Kinsman are welcomed.
Link: Nikon Small World Competition http://www.microscopyu.com/smallworld/
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