Canopy chameleon ro Furcifer willsii
A canopy chameleon (Furcifer willsii) traverses the narrow twig branches of a tree fern. (Photo: © Philippe Martin, 2015)

In his eye-popping new book "Hyper Nature," photographer and ecologist Philippe Martin uses a painstaking post-processing technique to capture the almost unreal beauty of chameleons, crickets, beetles, lizards, frogs and other tiny critters.

The technique that he uses — "hyper focus" — is a departure from the vast majority of macro nature photography you've seen before.

While harnessing the depth of field is an intentional aesthetic choice for many macro photographers, it presents certain challenges if you're trying to get an entire small subject in focus. For example, if you want to get an animal's eyes in focus, you have to sacrifice the focal clarity of other parts of its body.

To achieve his surreal "hyper focus" aesthetic, Martin fused multiple images of a single subject by piecing them together in focus stacking software. Each of the stacked images are focused on a different part of the subject, so after they are combined, what's left is one image that is focused uniformly throughout.

"The composite images in this book are the result of five years of original imaging experiments in close-up nature photography," Martin writes in the book's foreward. "All were taken in natural, even very low, light, without the optical distortion that would result from the use of wide-angle lenses."

Of course, "Hyper Nature" is more than an impressive photographic feat — it's also a fascinating study of some of our planet's smallest yet intriguing life forms. Nearly all of the creatures featured in the book could probably fit in the palm of your hand, which is why it's so eye-opening to see them presented in such resounding clarity.

Continue below for just a few visual highlights from the book. You can purchase your own copy from Firefly Books or Amazon.

This weevil (Holonychus violaceus) is part of the massive order Coleoptera, which contains nearly a quarter of all known animal life forms.
This weevil (Holonychus violaceus) is part of the massive order Coleoptera, which contains nearly a quarter of all known animal life forms. (Photo: © Philippe Martin, 2015)
Boophis boehmei, a frog endemic to Madagascar that comes in a variety of colors.
Boophis boehmei, a frog endemic to Madagascar that comes in a variety of colors. (Photo: © Philippe Martin, 2015)
It took 20 hours for Martin to process this incredible underwater image of the mushroom-shaped algae, Acetabularia acetabulum.
It took 20 hours for Martin to process this incredible underwater image of the mushroom-shaped algae, Acetabularia acetabulum. (Photo: © Philippe Martin, 2015)
A giant water scorpion (Lethocerus) devours a large sphinx moth.
A giant water scorpion (Lethocerus) devours a large sphinx moth. (Photo: © Philippe Martin, 2015)
A small midge fly (Anthomiya pluvialis) trapped in the sticky clutches of a sundew plant.
A small midge fly (Anthomiya pluvialis) trapped in the sticky clutches of a sundew plant. (Photo: © Philippe Martin, 2015)
This giant leafhopper measure one inch in length and belongs to the Flatidae family.
This giant leafhopper measures 1 inch in length and belongs to the Flatidae family. (Photo: © Philippe Martin, 2015)
A Maurita naca gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) blends into its surroundings.
A Maurita naca gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) blends into its surroundings. (Photo: © Philippe Martin, 2015)
Clerodendrum arenarum is a species of Lamiaceae found in arid climates.
Clerodendrum arenarum is a species of Lamiaceae found in arid climates. (Photo: © Philippe Martin, 2015)
Crowned orb weaver (Araneus diadematus)
Crowned orb weaver (Araneus diadematus) (Photo: © Philippe Martin, 2015)

Images used with permission from "Hyper Nature" by Philippe Martin, Firefly Books, September 2015, $39.95