domingo, 23 de marzo de 2014

Magnified Photos Show the Intricate Details of Butterfly Wings

This image shows the colorful sunset moth's wing. (Linden Gledhill)

This image shows the colorful sunset moth's wing. (Linden Gledhill)
A pollen grain rests on a Protographium agesilaus butterfly wing. (Linden Gledhill)
The above image shows a magnified Salamis Parhassus wing. (Linden Gledhill)
The above image shows a Citharias aurorean wing. (Linden Gledhill)
More images:

Many photographers aim to catch the beauty of butterflies. But Linden Gledhill takes his photography a step further, showing us the gorgeous patterns at the cellular level.

Gledhill develops biopharmaceuticals to treat cancer and diabetes at an international pharmaceutical company. His photography blends his love of science into an artform. He spends nights and vacations working on his photography projects.

I love applying my knowledge and skills in science to achieve images which often people don’t see,” Gledhill told

According to the Library of Congress, the powder seen on butterflies’ wings is similar to scales. Their wings are made of very thin layers of chitin, a derivative of glucose. Similar to solar panels, the wings soak up heat from the sun in order to keep the butterfly warm, The New York Times reported.

In the past, Gledhill has used a standard camera fitted with old microscope lenses on extension tubes. He now uses an Olympus BHT metrology microscope fitted with a StackShot drive to create the images. He also uses LED lighting and high-speed flash along with the microscope.

He usually uses damaged preserved specimens from farm-raised butterflies.

Gledhill’s images cover a range of species and they include moths as well. “I select those with interesting coloration or scale shapes… one of the most spectacular examples is the sunset moth, Urania ripheus,” said Gledhill. “People often think of moths as being drab. This is a day-flying species, hence the bright colors, most of which are achieved by physical structure and not pigments.

ORIGINAL: Weather Channel
By Nicole Bonaccorso

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