David Littschwager made this stunning photograph of a Porpita Porpita (Or Blue Button. No bigger than an inch in diameter.).
The photo's displayed here are from a World Press Photo award winning series by Liittschwager. Former assistant to photography icon Richard Avedon, he's now a freelance photographer who has done amazing work for National Geographic. For a few decades now he primarily focuses on portraiture of natural history objects.
These are all marine micro fauna. Most of these creatures are extremely adept at hiding right out in the open. It takes exceptional skill to light them in a way which makes them visible to our eyes.
To see more of this particular series click here. You will also find a video of him revealing more about this project.
“The puzzle for me as a photographer was to get something that is made to be invisible to show.”
“I tried to photograph in a small boat, but at that magnification it was very difficult. Because everything was moving and I had to keep my head down and really focus in on the specimen, I'd get seasick instantly.”
“We spent a lot of time finding the nicest specimens from what they had gathered in their large net. But there are certain creatures that are more delicate, so we would go out in a small boat and gather those with a small hand net. For the really fragile ones, you don't even want to use a hand net. We used just a plain white bucket for those.”
“I was pouring out the bucket to consolidate specimens and there was this big “plop” that didn't make any sense. I held up a flashlight and I didn't see the fish, but I could see the shadow it cast.”
“I was just happy that I actually succeeded in finding those types of specimens and got to photograph them.”
“I photographed them in a petri dish, at high magnification, with an extremely contrasty light source.”
“I didn't go in with a list of certain fish I wanted to photograph because you never really know what you're going to get.”