PORTRAITS OF INSECTS
The photographer Gilles Mermet presents a gallery of "insect portraits".
To make these portraits, he set up his studio inside the Laboratory
of entomology at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. For six months, he
photographed for Géo Magazine and then for Editions de l'Imprimerie
Nationale (*), nearly two hundred naturalized insects.
"By choosing to shoot with a view camera, in large format, the
I wanted to show the magic of the details," he explains. Each insect deserved
its ideal lighting that highlights its transparencies and shine, its
or its roughness, and which touches its silhouette. To do this, I put each
insect in space, away from the black background. This situation allowed me to place
my light sources as I please, frontal or curling, but also backlighting,
so that, as the light passed through the material, it gave the wings the brilliance of their
true colours. I tried to illuminate the insect from the inside, as if the light
emanated from him. Magnifying the naturalized animal in an attempt to restore the quivering
of life, and thus glorify the "absolute insect", the typical representative of its species,
a masterpiece of Nature, mysterious, fragile and worthy of respect!
For the Biomim'expo exhibition at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, he chose
some of his most beautiful photographs of Amazonian insects. They are the
magnificent ambassadors for the world's largest rainforest. These
a few insects, belonging to major orders of the classification
entomological (butterfly, beetle, phasma, grasshopper, mantis, fulgore...) give
an idea of the incomparable biological treasure that the Amazonian forest preserves.
More than 100,000 species of insects have been recorded here. There are probably still
so much to discover! Biodiversity is a priceless and fragile resource. It is
a fundamental resource for humans but also the main source of
Through a few other photos of beetles in large format, Gilles Mermet
also shows us that insect shells are, by their shape, a source of
inspiration for exoskeletons in robotics, and by their structural colours,
a source of inspiration for optical technologies.