Levon Biss’s project ‘Microsculpture’ – breathtaking visual experience that celebrates the stunning beauty of the natural world and challenges to explore the familiar surroundings in a new creative way through the curious eye of a child.
The project is a collaboration with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and presents a unique opportunity to study in details the insects’ structure in a mind-blowing magnification and appreciate those extraordinary creatures some of them have just been outside our window.
The process is quite elaborative. Each image is created from around 8000 individual photographs and it took the artist approximately 4 weeks from the start to finish.
“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 and photograph the insect in approximately 30 different sections, depending 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… I repeat this process over the entire area of the insect and once I have 30 fully focused sections I bring them together in Photoshop to create the final photograph.”
The project started in 2014 and could be enjoyed in full zoom on the specially created site and is also available as a photo book published by Abrams. There is as well a short TED talk where Levon Biss explains how the idea appeared and evolved in such impressive project.