Microsculpture - The Insect Photography of Levon Biss

Thu 05 Dec 2019 - Sun 01 March 2020
Microsculpture presents insects like never before.

Created through a collaboration between the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and British portrait photographer Levon Biss, this series of beautifully-lit, high magnification portraits captures the microscopic form and evolutionary adaptations of insects in striking large-format, high-resolution detail.

Each picture in Microsculpture is created from around 8,000 individual photographs. Segments of the specimen are lit and photographed separately, ‘stacked’ to maintain sharp focus throughout, then combined into a single high-resolution file.

“I photograph the insect in approximately 30 different sections, depending on 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. For example, I will light and shoot just one antenna, then I will move on to the eye and the lighting set up will change entirely to suit the texture and contours of that part of the body. This process continues until I have covered the whole surface area of the insect.”Levon Biss

Combining art with science, the exhibition also provides information about each creature in the show, where possible discussing the evolutionary adaptations that have given rise to its particular microsculpture form.


from the collections of Oxford University Museum of Natural History


  • Entry to this exhibition is FREE


Newcastle Museum
6 Workshop Way