Levon Biss – microphotography in a class of its own

Many people are disgusted by insects, so am I. However, when looking through the lens of the photographer Levon Biss, the feeling of disgust is replaced by pure astonishment. Closer inspection shows that the diversity and the uniqueness of these animals are simply indescribable. Again, and again I am searching for extraordinary pictures and photographs. This time I came across Levon Biss and could not withhold his work from you.
Levon Biss is a British photographer who was originally known for capturing fans’ emotions at football matches in a great way. With his spectacular close-ups of insects, he finally made the worldwide breakthrough. The series “Microsculpture – Portraits of Insects” has already been exhibited in galleries around the world, for example in Germany, London, Milan and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, the pictures were also published as a photo book, with a volume of more than 144 pages.

When he was playing in the garden with his little son and looking at a beetle under the microscope, he discovered the insect’s detailed facets. Driven by the fascination with the beauty of insects and amazed at the fact, that the extraordinary was so close, he adjudicated the microscopic photography of insects to be his new project. Over a period of more than two years, Biss scanned more than 37 insects from the Oxford University Museum’s collection. Each individual portrait of an insect is usually produced by using 8 to 10,000 individual photographs and requires a working time of up to 3 weeks. At the beginning, the animals are divided into several sections, as each part has different requirements concerning camera and exposure. Depending on whether, for example, an eye or a leg is photographed, the settings must be adapted. Only these partial photographs allow to depict millimeter-sized animals in their full, multi-faceted splendor. He has already presented his exact working process in October 2017 at a TED-Talk conference in Vancouver. There he talked about his exciting work, it’s process and showed some of the results in form of huge pictures. You can convince yourself of his abilities in the video below.


For more insights into his working process and for interactive illustration of the insects, visit http://microsculpture.net/. A look is definitely worth it!

I’ve never really dealt with insects, but the images of Levon Biss enabled me to perceive these animals from a different perspective. It shows once more that beauty can be found in the simplest and smallest things, as long as you keep your eyes open.

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Screenshots taken fom TED x Talk Video.

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