There’s a whole other world that’s not visible to the naked eye.
But thanks to these stunning macro and micro shots, we’re transported to a land of teeny-tiny creatures and plant life.
The Royal Society of Biology has revealed the shortlist for its 2017 Photographer of the Year and Young Photographer of the Year competitions, with this year’s theme being ‘the hidden world’.
The entries featured a wide variety of species from across the globe, from as far as Indonesia and Madagascar, and ranged from microscopic insights into the development of frogspawn, to the incredible emerald hues of an Indian lake photographed from 30,000 feet.
More than 600 entries were narrowed down to a shortlist of two for the Young Photographer of the Year award and a shortlist of 11 for the Photographer of the Year award.
The winners will be announced at the annual Royal Society of Biology’s annual awards ceremony on October 12 in London as part of Biology Week 2017. Scroll down to see who’s in the running for the prestigious first place prizes…
Two big-eyed damselflies struck a pose for Miao Yong while she was taking photographs in a park in the Zejiang province of China. She said it took her quite a while to capture the ‘funny moment’ as the critters kept moving around
This image, taken by Marc Brouwer in Genemuiden, the Netherlands, shows a tiny insect around one or two millimetres small. This creature, known as a springtail, was found in a field sitting on grass
This is an egg of a Bombay bush frog sized four to five millimetres. In this image, a fully developed froglet can be seen in the transparent egg shell. These eggs are so tiny that one can easily miss them in the dense forest of western Ghats. Photographer Anup Deodhar said it was ‘unbelievable to see tiny froglets move in the egg shell’
This curious goose-eyed crab was captured by Javier Herranz on the sandy beaches of Nosy Be, an island off the northwest coast of Madagascar. The species is widespread and can be found in spots ranging from Hawaii to the Great Barrier Reef to Mauritius
Dheeraj Nanda took this photo while diving in the ‘macro heaven’ of Ambon, Indonesia. It shows a coleman shrimp seeking refuge among the spines of a fire urchin. As with spiders, the female is bigger than the male. This photo is one of two in the running for t
he Young Photographer of the Year award
Peter Burkill says obtaining this picture of a wild Blakiston’s fish owl in Hokkaido, Japan – the largest, and one of the rarest, most endangered, living species of owl – required a combination of ‘planning, patience and luck’. He photographed the bird at night in mid-winter using specialised lighting
This image, taken by 17-year-old Alannah Harding, shows the heart of a mouse embryo, perfectly formed and surrounded by other organs. It is one of two photographs in the running for the Young Photographer of the Year award
Chris Carter took this close-up image of a Chara plant, which are also known as stoneworts or stone plants. Carter says the algae is rare and not always fertile or in peak condition for photography so he was pleased with the outcome of this shot
James Patterson took this photograph through a microscope. The slide shows a section of cat skin with a developing hair follicle growing. The specimen dates from the 1950s, yet the vibrancy of the stain used is still breathtaking
Steve Lowry decided to focus on the skin of a sea cucumber – a marine animal commonly found on the sea floor. This polarised light image taken through a microscope shows pairs of small needle-like structures referred to as ‘plates and anchors’. The sharp spikes of the anchors may act as a deterrent to potential predators
Duncan McNaught says living in rural Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland gives him access to some amazing landscapes and flora and fauna, but it’s the smaller often overlooked plants and insects that really spark the creative photographer in him
Amy Bateman from Kendal, Cumbria, photographed the development of the neuro system in common frogspawn. She captured the whole development from spawn to froglet as a conservation and ecology project with her children
Partha Saha captured an emerald green glacial lake while flying at around 30,000 feet. It was nestled in the Zanskar mountain range near the Jammu and Kashmir regions of India. The photographer said of the photo: ‘This view is really hidden, because no one can witness this type of scenic beauty from any point on the earth’