Detailed Portraits Turn Dead Insects Into Stunning Artwork

These bugs are ready for their close-up

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but it takes a thousand pictures to capture a bug in this level of detail. Actually, more like 8,000 to 10,000 images.

Photographer Levon Biss usually photographs athletes, but for his latest project he teamed up with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History to photograph some much smaller subjects--beautifully colored, strangely shaped insect specimens from the museum's collection.

The fascinating video above takes you behind-the-scenes as Biss captures every detail of the clean, near-perfect specimens, a process that can take weeks for each insect. Then comes the printing, which makes the insects larger than life, ready for display in a new photography exhibition.

The show, Microsculpture, will be on display at Oxford University Museum of Natural History from May 27 to October 30.

If you can't make it to the museum to see the 9-foot-tall prints, check out Biss's amazing photography on his website, where you can explore 22 insect specimens in all their glamorous detail, from the imposing spikes of a Tortoise Beetle, to the pilled surface of a Flying Saucer Trench Beetle, or the sinuous antennae of a Marion Flightless Moth.