All photos: Linden Gledhill
We know that butterflies and moths are gorgeous, thanks primarily to their colorful and beautifully patterned wings. But they are downright breathtaking to see at the microscopic level. Photographer Linden Gledhill has zoomed way, way in on the wings of these insects, and the photos are amazing — as you can see with the image above of a sunset moth wing.
To get these photos, Gledhill uses an Olympus BH-2 microscope fitted with LED lighting, a high-speed flash and a StackShot drive that automates the process of taking a series of selectively focused images, which are then "stacked" in post-processing for ultra-sharp photos. Sometimes it takes as many as 80 individual images to create one final photograph. As for the subjects, Gledhill sources the insects mainly from an online purveyor of farmed insects. "I've looked at a wide range of species and I select those with interesting colouration or scale shapes," Gledhill told MNN. "The wings are typically taken from damaged specimens often from farmed-raised butterflies and moths."
The selection used for the photos is diverse, and opens up a fascinating window to the tiny, alien aspect of the insect world.