This is a live image of the diatom Arachnoidiscus

FIRST PLACE

“This is a live image of the diatom Arachnoidiscus. The picture shows the diatom’s silicified cell wall, which forms a pillbox-like shell composed of overlapping halves that contain intricate and delicate markings. The picture was taken with a polychromatic polscope. Using that instrument, an eye or camera can directly see the colored polarization image through the ocular, with brightness corresponding to retardance and color corresponding to the slow-axis azimuth.”

— Michael Shribak,
Marine Biological Laboratory

 

This image shows a number of optical phenomena, starting with a green laser (532-nm Nd:YAG) guided by a multimode silica optical fiber to a vial containing an organic dye

SECOND PLACE

“This image shows a number of optical phenomena, starting with a green laser (532-nm Nd:YAG) guided by a multimode silica optical fiber to a vial containing an organic dye (Rhodamine 6G) that absorbs the green laser light and emits red light. The blue shade across part of the picture is from the spectrometer computer that analyses the dye emission. Captured at the Chemical Sensing Lab, Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, University of Adelaide, Australia.”

— Georgios Tsiminis,
University of Adelaide

 

This photograph illustrates the combination of linear and nonlinear wave propagation in optics

THIRD PLACE

“This photograph illustrates the combination of linear and nonlinear wave propagation in optics. Broadband coherent supercontinuum light generated from nonlinear interactions in an optical fiber undergoes scattering and multiple refraction, manifested by caustics, when propagating through colorless water beads.”

— Goëry Genty,
Tampere University of Technology

 

A multiplexing stream: The beams from three laser pointers of different wavelengths pass through a tank of water, and exit into a single water stream

HONORABLE MENTION

“A multiplexing stream: The beams from three laser pointers of different wavelengths pass through a tank of water, and exit into a single water stream. Once in the stream, the beams can be seen reflecting at the water-air interface, as a result of total internal reflection, and following the curved path of the water stream.”

— Aongus McCarthy,
Heriot-Watt University

 

Water droplets on a flower adopt almost hemispherical shapes

HONORABLE MENTION

“Water droplets on a flower adopt almost hemispherical shapes. The resulting lenses greatly magnify the underlying petal surface. Direct sun shines as a diffraction star.”

 Emilio Gómez-González,
Universidad de Sevilla, Spain

 

Beetles from all over the world regard themselves in the mirror and find that they are all left-handed circularly polarized

HONORABLE MENTION

“Beetles from all over the world regard themselves in the mirror and find that they are all left-handed circularly polarized. Shot with a Canon EOS 450D through a circular polarizer for photography oriented the wrong way around.”

— Frans Snik,
Universiteit Leiden

 

Top view of a soft-glass fiber preform while it is inside the furnace of a brand new 6-meter fiber fabrication draw tower facility (at DTU Fotonik)

HONORABLE MENTION

“Top view of a soft-glass fiber preform while it is inside the furnace of a brand new 6-meter fiber fabrication draw tower facility (at DTU Fotonik) at around 1000 degrees Celsius.”

— Christos Markos,
DTU Fotonik, Technical University of Denmark

For this year’s contest, OPN received 57 intriguing entries. We thank the panel of judges who provided insight on those images and helped select the winners: Svetlana Boriskina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA; Mihaela Dinu, LGS Innovations, USA; Alexandre Fong, Gooch & Housego, USA; Bob D. Guenther, Duke University, USA; Brooke Hester, Appalachian State University, USA; Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, University of Waterloo, Canada; and Arlene Smith, Avo Photonics Inc., USA.

Visit www.osa-opn.org/home/gallery/photo_contests/2017/ for a gallery of all the submissions to this year’s After Image photo contest.