25 November 2022

Curiosity Is In The Eye of The Beholder

Ever wondered what a butterfly looks like under a microscope? Levon got the inspiration from his 7 year old son, Sebastian, who brought in a dung beetle from the garden. Little did he know that this engine of curiosity would spark this remarkable project. With images being exhibited globally, Extinct and Endangered is a feat of macroscopic craftsmanship.

In his new book, Extinct and Endangered, master macro photographer Levon Biss takes us into the vanishing world of insects. Taken from collections at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Levon spent 2 years collating the images of insects in this book. Each photograph carefully made up of 8 – 10,000 individual images, produced using both a bespoke photographic rig and microscope lenses, took around 3 and a half weeks to create. Photographing the insect in 20-25 different sections to retain microscopic detail in each specimen. Currently being exhibited at the America Museum of Natural History, the real life prints range from 3 – 9 meters long, which as you can imagine, are pretty awe inspiring up close. On a school trip one young curious kid stood in front of a 3 metre insect for 5 minutes motionless – you don’t have to be there to believe it.

Recognising the importance in making the images work in the digital world, Levon put all of his photographs on a website that retains the microscopic detail and resolution of each image – go and have a browse: http://microsculpture.net/ 

But we all know there’s nothing like the feel and touch of a hand held book, so if you’re dying to get your hands on a copy, head over to Abrams books to see these bugs being brought to macroscopic life through the human eye: https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/extinct-endangered_9781419759635/