macro

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Photography Science

Microsculpture: Macro Photographs of Iridescent Insects Composed of 10,000 Images by Levon Biss

July 16, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Iridescent Bark Mantis

Iridescent Bark Mantis

Photographer Levon Biss (previously) shoots highly detailed images of insect specimens for his continuing series Microsculpture, combining 8,000 to 10,000 individual shots to produce the final piece. Included in this selection are the shield bug and tricolored jewel beetle, which were both collected by famous naturalists. The former was collected by Charles Darwin during a visit to Australia in 1836, and brought back to the UK on the famed HMS Beagle. The luminescent tricolored jewel beetle was collected exactly two decades later by his contemporary Alfred Russell Wallace.

Biss has current exhibitions at the Hessischer Landesmuseum in Darmstadt, Germany through August 5, 2018 and Naturama in Svenborg, Denmark through November 25, 2018, in addition to his first US exhibit Microsculpture: The Insect Photography of Levon Biss which opened at the Houston Museum of Natural Science earlier this month. You can buy limited edition archival pieces on his online print shop, and view interactive versions of his highly detailed composite images on his Microsculpture website.

Detail of Iridescent Bark Mantis

Detail of Iridescent Bark Mantis

Detail of Iridescent Bark Mantis

Detail of Iridescent Bark Mantis

Tortoise Beetle

Tortoise Beetle

Detail of Tortoise Beetle

Detail of Tortoise Beetle

Detail of Tricolored Jewel Beetle

Detail of Tricolored Jewel Beetle

Tricolored Jewel Beetle

Tricolored Jewel Beetle

Shield Bug

Shield Bug

 

 



Photography Science

Macro Infrared Photographs Unlock the Depth of Green in a Stunning Array of Canary Island Plants

May 25, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All images via Field

Marcus Wendt, creative director at the London-based studio Field, recently traveled to the island of Lanzarote to shoot a series of macro images of the region’s native plants. His project, Suprachromacy transforms cacti and other light-absorbing species into vibrant, multi-hued beings through infrared photography. Needles and spines of one species glow bright blue, while others are illuminated in deep orange tones.

The project was inspired by Isaac Newton’s quote, “For the Rays, to speak properly, are not colored. In them, there is nothing else than a certain power and disposition to stir up a sensation of this or that color.” Its intension is to spark inquiry about a color’s origin. Is color an inherent part of the object? Or is it an individualized sensation?

“For us, these alien color spectra spark ideas about how we see color, how much depth is locked up in the color green, and whether color is a property or a sensation,” says Wendt. “And also what plants might look like on planets under a different colored sun.”

You can see other technology and photo-based projects by Field on their website and Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

Photo of a Single Atom Wins Top Prize in Science Photography Contest

February 13, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Image © David Nadlinger / Oxford University

You might need your glasses for this one. Quantum physicist David Nadlinger from the University of Oxford managed to capture an image that would have been impossible only a few years ago: a single atom suspended in an electric field viewable by the naked eye. The amazing shot titled “Single Atom in an Ion Trap” recently won the overall prize in the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) science photo and imaging contest. You can see the atom in the shot above, the tiny speck at the very center.

To be clear, the photo doesn’t capture just the atom, but rather light emitted from it while in an excited state. From the EPSRC:

‘Single Atom in an Ion Trap’, by David Nadlinger, from the University of Oxford, shows the atom held by the fields emanating from the metal electrodes surrounding it. The distance between the small needle tips is about two millimetres.

When illuminated by a laser of the right blue-violet colour the atom absorbs and re-emits light particles sufficiently quickly for an ordinary camera to capture it in a long exposure photograph. The winning picture was taken through a window of the ultra-high vacuum chamber that houses the ion trap.

Laser-cooled atomic ions provide a pristine platform for exploring and harnessing the unique properties of quantum physics. They can serve as extremely accurate clocks and sensors or, as explored by the UK Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub, as building blocks for future quantum computers, which could tackle problems that stymie even today’s largest supercomputers.

“The idea of being able to see a single atom with the naked eye had struck me as a wonderfully direct and visceral bridge between the minuscule quantum world and our macroscopic reality,” shared Nadlinger. “A back-of-the-envelope calculation showed the numbers to be on my side, and when I set off to the lab with camera and tripods one quiet Sunday afternoon, I was rewarded with this particular picture of a small, pale blue dot.”

You can follow more of his discoveries—large and small—on Twitter. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Art

A Mixture of Paint, Soap, and Oil Form an Eye-Opening Galaxy of Aqueous Visuals

June 19, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Director Thomas Blanchard (previously) has teamed up with photographer Oilhack to create this dizzying new video of paint, soap, and oil mixing together titled Galaxy Gates. We’ve seen more than a handful of videos like these here on Colossal the last few years, but these guys somehow manage to push the envelope quite a bit into an entirely new realm of visual experimentation. The duo filmed for almost 4 months and included only around 2% of their work in the final edit. You can see more of their collaborative work on We Are Color.

 

 



Amazing Science

A Remarkable Time Lapse Video of Cell Division in a Frog Egg

March 21, 2017

Christopher Jobson

No, this isn’t digital. Filmed by documentary filmmaker Francis Chee, this amazing video captures the microscopic view of a frog egg as it begins to divide from two cells into millions over a period of about 33 hours. It’s astounding to think that each and every one of us started off just like this. (via Sploid)

 

 



Photography

A Spectacular Close-Up View of a Fiery-Throated Hummingbird

October 24, 2016

Christopher Jobson

hum-1

hum-2

Photographer Jess Findlay recently captured this amazing shot of a fiery-throated hummingbird while shooting in the Talamanca Mountains in Costa Rica. The image is a result of hundreds of photos taken over several hours with a telephoto lens as he waited patiently for one of the small birds to perch at just the right angle. Findlay shares with Colossal:

Several of these hummingbirds were visiting a nectar feeder. As they fed hungrily, often quarreling with one another, occasionally one would get displaced onto a nearby branch. I waited by the branch for a couple hours, staying very still. I used a telephoto lens with a special attachment that allowed me to focus on close subjects. What made this a challenge was how fidgety these birds can be and the fact that the full spectrum of colour is only seen when they pause at a very specific angle.

Findlay is a native of Vancouver where he’s extremely active in the photography community, offering a wide variety of workshops. You can see more of his work on Instagram.

 

 



Photography Science

The Extraordinary Details of Tiny Creatures Captured with a Laser-Scanning Microscope by Igor Siwanowicz

October 12, 2016

Christopher Jobson

igor-1

Acilius diving beetle male front tarsus (foot) 100x

If you’ve ever wondered how a diving beetle swims through the water or manages to rest just on the surface, the answer is in part because its foot is infinitely more complicated than your own. As seen above, this microscopic image of a male Acilius sulcatus (diving beetle) by photographer Igor Siwanowicz reveals the extraordinary complexity of this aquatic insect’s tiny appendage. This is just one of many examples of Siwanowicz’s work as a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus. His brilliantly colored images show the tree-like structures of moth antennas, the wild details of barnacle legs, and the otherworldly shapes of plant spores. The photos are made with a confocal laser-scanning microscope capable of “seeing” vast amounts of detail beyond what you might capture with a traditional lens-based microscope. You can see much more of his nature photography here. (via Synaptic Stimuli, Wired)

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Barnacle

igor-3

Midge Pupa

igor-4

Paraphyses & Sporangia

Isopod appendage

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Front leg of whirligig beetle

igor-7

Moth antennae

Moth antennae, detail

 

 

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