Extreme macro photography reveals glittering wonders of a butterfly wing

Chris Perani
© Chris Perani

Nature never ceases to inspire wonder and amaze, from its grand vistas of illuminated mountainous landscapes and rare fungi -- all the way down to the necks of dragonflies.

Looking to reveal the intricate details found on a butterfly's wing, photographer Chris Perani uses macro photography to capture the vibrant colours and textures found on these fascinating insects, which seem to resemble sequined fabrics.

Chris Perani© Chris Perani

Chris Perani© Chris Perani
To accomplish this, Perani uses a 10x microscope objective that is attached onto a 200-millimetre lens, resulting in an almost-nil depth of field. These beautiful images take a lot of work, says Perani:

Each image of a butterfly wing consists of 2,100 separate exposures merged into a single photo. [..] Using a focus rail, the lens must be moved no more than 3 microns per photo to achieve focus across the thickness of the subject which can be up to 8 millimeters. This yields 350 exposures, each with a sliver in focus, that must be composited together. This process yields one piece of 6-piece puzzle. The process is repeated 6 times for different sections of the wing with the final result being the composite of these pieces.

Chris Perani© Chris Perani

Chris Perani© Chris Perani

Chris Perani© Chris Perani

Chris Perani© Chris Perani

These marvelous images underscore how wonderful butterflies are, from their pollinating powers, their epic migratory instincts and surprising symbiotic relationships, but also the threats they are facing from climate change. To see more, visit Chris Perani's website and his Butterfly Wings gallery (prints are apparently available), and Instagram.

Extreme macro photography reveals glittering wonders of a butterfly wing
These impressive images show the vibrant, intricate details found in these jewel-like insect wings.

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