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Dear Friends,

Talk about Awe! 

Photography can literally change the way we see the world.  A macro lens can reveal awe inspiring details which we would normally miss– and combining a macro lens with extenders or a microscope intensifies the miracle.

We want to tell you about an amazing exhibition currently on display through April 23rd at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia:

This exhibition shows us the shapes and colors that make for what is called microsculpture, evolutionary adaptations which inform a bug’s shape.

Levon Biss’ photographic process composites thousands of images, using multiple lighting setups, to create a final portrait which reveals this micro-sculpture. It is thought that these structures alter the properties of the insect’s surface in different ways, reflecting sunlight, shedding water, sensing food sources or trapping air. 

Also visible are minute hairs that are adapted for many purposes, such as gripping smooth surfaces, carrying pollen, or detecting movement. These hairs are sometimes modified into flattened scales – structures so small they appear like dust to the naked eye. 

In certain insects, such as butterflies and beetles, these scales scatter and reflect light to create some of the most vibrant and intense colors seen in nature. 

Exhibition description courtesy of
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Orchid Cuckoo Bee, Brazil 
Credit: © Levon Biss
Splendid-necked Dung Beetle, Madagascar 
Credit: © Levon Biss
Tortoise Beetle, China 
Credit: © Levon Biss
Levon Biss on Microsculpture via TED

If these photographs inspire you as much as they inspire us, pull out your phone and put it into portrait mode or magnify your surroundings. 

You just might end up awestruck.

The Team at SeeingHappy


The team here at SeeingHappy are all photographers who enjoy the process of creating memorable photos. We are a mix of educators striving to share their knowledge and psychologists dedicated to increasing happiness in the world.

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