MICROSCULPTURE: Portraits of Insects
by Levon Biss
2017, 144 pages, 144 color photographs. Microsculpture is a unique photographic study of insects in mind-blowing magnification that celebrates the wonders of nature and science. Biss’s photographs capture in breathtaking detail the beauty of the insect world and are printed in large-scale format to provide an unforgettable viewing experience.
Each illustration is created from approximately 8,000 individual photographs. Each specimen was mounted on an adapted microscope stage, allowing close control over the position of the specimen in front of the camera lens. Most insects were photographed in about 30 sections, each section lit differently with strobe lights to accentuate the microsculpture of that particular area of the body. Segments of the specimen are lit and photographed separately using microscope lenses, then “stacked” to maintain sharp focus throughout. These images are then combined to create a single high-resolution file. From start to finish, each portrait takes approximately four weeks to create.
The project has captured the attention of the world with features in WIRED and New Scientist. It has been exhibited at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The Museum’s entomology collection has significant cultural and historical value, containing the world’s oldest pinned insect specimen and thousands of insects collected by pioneering Victorian explorers and biologists including Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace. The exhibit has been viewed by over half a million people and will be touring museums around the world from 2017 onward.
Hardcover; 10 x 12”.
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