Microsculpture: Insect Portraits Under The Microscope by Levon Biss


Jewel Longhorned Beetle
Jewel Longhorned Beetle

Levon Biss is a talented British photographer and filmmaker, who’s typically shoots portraits of world-class athletes. His passion for nature led him to create the striking “Microsculpture” project, a unique photographic study of insects in mind-blowing magnification. His talent for capturing insects started as a side-project in his home, and featured bugs caught by his son, and now Levon embraced the world of macrophotography and has taken the genre to a new level.

Levon Biss used a 36 megapixel Nikon D810 with a 10x microscope objective attached through a 200mm prime lens. Each of his images is composed of around 8-10,000 individual shots. Segments of the specimen are lit and photographed separately, ‘stacked’ to maintain sharp focus throughout, then combined into a single high-resolution file.

“Each image from the Microsculpture project is created from around 8000 individual photographs. The pinned insect is placed on an adapted microscope stage that enables me to have complete control over the positioning of the specimen in front of the lens. I shoot with a 36-megapixel camera that has a 10x microscope objective attached to it via a 200mm prime lens.

I photograph the insect in approximately 30 different sections, depending on the size of the specimen. Each section is lit differently with strobe lights to bring out the micro sculptural beauty of that particular section of the body. For example, I will light and shoot just one antennae, then after I have completed this area I will move onto the eye and the lighting set up will change entirely to suit the texture and contours of that part of the body. I continue this process until I have covered the whole surface area of the insect.”

Branched Backed Treehopper
Branched Backed Treehopper
Darkling Beetle
Darkling Beetle
Flying Saucer Trench Beetle
Flying Saucer Trench Beetle
Ground Beetle China
Ground Beetle China
Marion Flightless Moth
Marion Flightless Moth
Orchid Cuckoo Bee
Orchid Cuckoo Bee
Splendid-necked Dung Beetle
Splendid-necked Dung Beetle
Treehopper
Treehopper
Tricoloured Jewel Beetle
Tricoloured Jewel Beetle

In just a few days, the video released with the series got more than eight million views, and Levon is getting between 20 and 30 emails a day asking about his project.

More info: website

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