eye of science / Meckes & Ottawa

For more than two decades Nicole Ottawa and Oliver Meckes are specialized in photography with microscopes, mainly the scanning electron microscope.  The small and extremely small things are their targets. “Models” are insects, cells , bacteria, plant details or the human body from inside. Always the scientific accuracy in the most aesthetic way possible is in their focus.

Meckes and Ottawa work in their own laboratory with two scanning electron microscopes, several light microscopes and macro photography equipment. All the machinery necessary for specimen preparation (dehydration, drying, metal coating) is present there. The particular specialty of eye of science is the exact coloring and lighting to give back photo-realistic colors to the black and white SEM images.

Nicole and Oliver produced stories with their scanning electron microscopes for National Geographic as well as title pages for SCIENCE or NATURE, worked for GEO magazine and several companies such as Bayer or BASF. The most recent features showed creatures from forest soil; human teeth and cells that keep it alive and support it; Radiolarians, seawater microorganisms and Tardigrades- the tiny water bears.

They were placed three times at the World Press Photo Contest and have received multiple awards from the “Bio-Communications-Association” and the “German Prize for Scientific Photography”. Nicole and Oliver see the Lennart Nilson Award, which they received in 2002, as the greatest honor.