“At high magnification the surface of even the plainest looking beetle or fly is completely transformed,” says Dr. James Hogan, a collections manager at the Oxford Museum of Natural History. “Details of their microsculpture become visible: ridges, pits or engraved meshes all combine at different spatial scales in a breath-taking intricacy.”
This concept of microsculpture—the details of the insect form—is well-known among entomologists. But it comes to life like never before in Microsculpture, a collaboration between the Oxford Museum of Natural History and photographer Levon Biss. This striking exhibition features large scale prints of 22 insect specimens in incredible detail, allowing visitors to appreciate the beauty of these tiny creatures in a new light.
However, perhaps the most fruitful result of this collaboration is the stunning online exhibition and its zooming feature, which allows the viewer to manipulate the magnification of each insect specimen. When the largest magnification is achieved, insect body parts take on an abstract appearance.
Here are our favourite close-ups at the 0.25mm setting. Can you guess which critters they belong to?
Find out more about Microsculpture and Levon Biss’s other work.
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