Macro photography requires a certain discipline and patience, but even the most redoubtable macro shooter has to marvel at what Levon Biss has done.
In a project dubbed Microsculpture Biss created 3 meter prints from 10mm insects–insects sourced from the second largest collection in Britain, at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
As the behind-the-scenes video below details, creating these images was a painstaking, exacting enterprise. Biss used a 36-megapixel Nikon body and a microscope lens attachment with an incredibly shallow depth of field. To get the entire image of the bug properly in focus, he had to shoot thousands of images, varying the focal length by as little as 10 microns with each shot, and composite the final together. Each final image is composed of between 8,000 and 10,000 individual photos.
Biss also lit individual portions of an insect differently, using one type of lighting for the eye and another for a wing to highlight the unique textures. It took about three weeks to create a single image from capture to post.
The final results are on display through October 2016 at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. You can also take a nice interactive tour of each insect here, where you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for beetles.