Animals Up Close

Animals almost never look the same when seen under extreme magnification. Using advanced microscope and camera technology, scientists and photographers have been able to take absolutely stunning photos featuring the wonders of wildlife. Here are some of my favorite microscope captures.



Vibrant and detailed— the colors in this photo are so bright they almost seem metallic. To get this quality, Waldo Nell had to take over 100 photos, adjusting the microscope to different focus points. In Photoshop, LightRoom, and Helicon Focus, he stacked all the images together forming this beautiful photo.1


Photo: Waldo Nell

Fish Scales

In 2009, this photo of discus fish scales taken by Dr. Havi Sarfaty got 6th place in the Nikon Small World photo competition.2 Discus fish live in the Amazon river basin and are known for their bright colors.3


Photo: Dr. Havi Sarfaty

Spider Spinnerets

It’s hard to tell what these weird, protruding, strange-colored objects are, but the photo depicts the spinnerets of an orb weaver. See how the photo looks like a collection of glue guns that eject the spider’s silk?  This digitally colored photo at 1055x magnification illustrates how complex even small invertebrates are.4


Photo: Kunkel Microscopy


Taken by Linden Gledhill, the following photos are part of a giant collection of microscopic photography of butterflies. Although it may not seem so, butterfly wings are made up of tiny scales composed of chitin, the same protein that makes up human nails and hair.5 The color schemes that Gledhill was able to capture are truly fantastic. I love how delicate the scales look, and when you imagine how tiny they are, it just seems unreal.

Photos: Linden Gledhill


Works Cited:   [ + ]

1. Aldred, John. “This Photographer Uses Photo Stacking Techniques and a Microscope to Show the Iridescent Beauty of Peacock Feathers – DIY Photography.” DIY Photography. 2016. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.
2. “Discus Fish Scales | 2009 Photomicrography Competition | Nikon’s Small World.” Nikon’s Small World. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.
3. Wikipedia contributors. “Discus (fish).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 Jul. 2016. Web. 18 Sep. 2016.
4. Kunkel, Dennis. “Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.” Spider Silk Gland Spigots (Gasteracantha Spp.). Web. 18 Sept. 2016.
5. “Will a Butterfly Die If I Touch Its Wings?” HowStuffWorks. 2008. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *