It’s not unusual to see contests for the best ‘nanoimage’ but this one offers some special prizes including exposure (pun intended) in a National Geographic project on nanotechnology. From the June 27, 2012 news item on Azonano,
FEI is excited to announce this year’s FEI Image Contest, “Explore the Unseen” and invites owners and users to submit their best nano-scale images online at fei.com. This year FEI are pleased to partner with National Geographic on a film tentatively titled “Invisible Worlds”.
Winning images will be posted on National Geographic’s website and all images will be considered for inclusion in the film’s promotional materials.
Inspired by the upcoming film, the FEI Image Contest offers owners and users an opportunity to explore their creativity and share their images with National Geographic’s worldwide audience.
I was a little curious about FEI and found it’s a microscopy company, from their About FEI page,
FEI is the world leader in the production and distribution of electron microscopes, including scanning electron microscopes (SEM), transmission electron microscopes (TEM), DualBeam™ instruments, and focused ion beam tools (FIB), for nanoscale research, serving a broad range of customers worldwide. Nanotechnology is the science of finding, characterizing, analyzing and fabricating materials smaller than 100 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter). FEI’s global customer base includes researchers, scientists, engineers, lab managers, and other skilled professionals.
Here’s more about the contest from the FEI’s 2012 contest page,
What’s in it for you?
All images submitted will be considered for inclusion in the National Geographic film promotional materials. This may include a companion game, book, education guide and poster.
Monthly Category Prizes
Everyone who enters will have the opportunity to win one of four monthly prizes. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: The Human Body, Around the House, The Natural World, and Other Relevant Science. Monthly winners will receive a custom 24 x 24 inch bamboo mounted print of their image to put on display.
Plus, the four winning images will be posted to the Nat Geo Movies section of their website and Facebook page.
At the conclusion of the contest, a grand prize will be awarded for the best image received from the monthly category winners. The grand prize is two coach class tickets to a United States destination of the winners choosing.
In addition, the winning image will be part of a special photo gallery promoting the film “Invisible Worlds”.
Here are more details about the individual categories,
This year, we’ve chosen image categories with broad audience appeal. The following examples, while not an exhaustive list, provide an idea of what we’re looking for:
The Natural World:
- Insect parts – wings, eyes, etc. (ideal insects include moth, ladybug, fly, dragonfly, butterfly, cicada, cricket, etc.)
- Spider silk / webs
- Pollen, allergens, leaves, tree slime, fungus, bacteria & mold
- Micro-invertebrates seen in water-quality testing
- Plants, flowers, blades of grass
- Rock, minerals, sand, etc.
- Ice/snow/snowflakes, other crystals, raindrops
- Close-up of animals or animal parts: dog, cat, bird, fish (pets a kid would own)
The Human Body:
- Insects that live on your body (eyebrows, lashes, etc.) lice, bacteria
- Body parts: bone (including fractures/breaks), human hair, skin flakes
- Bodily fluids: snot, sweat, blood, saliva, tears, etc
- Hands (finger, skin) before and after washing
- Endoplasmic reticulum, cell walls, etc
- What a tattoo looks like under the skin
Around the House:
- Things you would find in a kids room: t-shirt fibers, stuff on the soles of dirty shoes, dust mites, carpet fibers, hair inside of a baseball cap, sloughed skin, dust, pencil lead, crayons
- Food: ice cream, candy, bread, french fries, apples, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
- Creatures that live on the mouthpiece of a phone, in the kitchen sink
- Tires, cars, bikes, toys
- Lint from clothing
- The inside workings of a clock, computer, smartphone or TV
- Gems and jewels: rubies, diamonds, other gems
- Sports equipment: baseball, basketball, soccer ball, bathing suit, etc.
Other Relevant Science:
Do your best images not fit into the categories above? Are you interested in sharing what you’re working on today? Whether you are investigating advanced materials, working to understand complex chemical reactions, or researching the 3D architecture of tissues and cells, this is the category for submitting your best work.
Here’s FEI’s 2011 winning image (from FEI”s 2011 Owner Image Contest Winner announcement page),
Microcanyon: a micro-crack in steel after bending tests Credit: Martina Dienstleder of the Institute for Electron Microscopy at the Graz University of Technology
The reasons it was selected as the ‘grand’ prize winner (from FEI”s 2011 Owner Image Contest Winner announcement page) were,
Overall, the entries were judged on their aesthetic appeal, application and scientific relevance, and overall creativity.
Given that there is mention of a micro-crack and the grand prize winner is titled Microcanyon, I’m assuming last year’s theme was less specific than this year’s invitation to submit ‘nanoscale’ inflected images.
Given there are monthly winners I assume there are monthly deadlines but I couldn’t find them on the FEI contest webpage however, the final deadline for submissions is Sept. 14, 2012.
Good luck to the 2012 entrants.