Photo competition for first-year biologists

11 April 2013

They say a picture tells a thousand words and in science photography we want those thousand words to educate, enlighten and explain. Out-of-focus instagram images are of no use here! This science-arty challenge was presented to our first-year biology students who took photos and videos on our new Motic digital microscopes.

In addition to a clear image, the students were asked to label the photos, including a scale bar and caption. These important additions distinguish purely artistic photos from those used to elucidate a scientific idea. A panel of judges sorted through the submissions to settle on one photo and one video as the ultimate winners. The photo (below), by Aisha Nguyen and Bo Yun Lu, shows a paramecia (a unicellular protozoan) dividing. The panel liked this image as not only was it appropriately labelled and captioned, but it also showed an interesting biological event.

The winning video, by Melissa Bain, David Cameron and Georgia Paige, again featured paramecium - this time the motion of the organism was the hero. In this video you can see the cilia beating furiously to propel the paramecium around the slide, as well as the fluids moving in the oral groove.

All the photos submitted for consideration can be found on our facebook page and the videos can be seen on our youtube channel. What is your favourite? The cash prize for the photography competition was kindly donated by Motic.

Winning entry of the Motic microscope photo competition
Winning entry of the Motic microscope photo competition