Philippe Martin revolutionized digital nature photography by "stacking" images. To take one photograph, he will shoot a subject hundreds of times, stack the images into a composite, and then clean up the composite image pixel by pixel. The result is a "quasi-3D" photograph of nature with such sharpness and brilliance that surely it will leap from the page. What's more, Martin takes the photographs in his subjects' natural setting, including inhospitable jungles.
Hyper Nature is a portfolio of Martin's stunning photographs of snails, orchids, dragonflies, snakes, frogs and many other creatures. The hyperrealism and large images bring the viewer into the heart of the scene, face to face with the subject, where he can discover the smallest detail. This is nature photography as never seen before. Martin also explains how he achieves his photographs, increasing readers' appreciation and leaving a legacy for new photographers.
The most recent exhibition of Martin's photographs attracted one million visitors to the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.
Hyper Nature is ideal for all photography and nature enthusiasts as well as photographers, naturalists, educators, museum specialists and scientists.
Philippe Martin is an ecologist, photographer, including underwater subjects, and author of numerous books with a career spanning more than 40 years. He has also contributed to many books on nature, as author, co-author or illustrator. In 2012, Philippe Martin won Grand Prize for Digital Photography at the International Festival of Wildlife Photography in Montier-en-Der, France. His book Hyper Nature Tropical received the First Place "French Book Prize" 2014.
The composite images in this book are the result of five years of original imaging experiments in close-up nature photography. In recent decades, nature images have undergone extraordinary developments. Similarly, scientific images obtained through the use of high technology, such as scanning electron microscopes and 3-D imagery, contribute greatly to the current popular appeal of nature photography.
This book presents the result of repurposing readily available focus-stacking software. The images are by no means photographs and they are not true 3-D images. They are illustrations composed of many close shots, the results of a process that we call, for lack of a better term, "Hyper Focus." When rendered, mainly through digital painting, these images provide the viewer a new perception of biodiversity that shines light on the most humble and prolific of nature's creations. All were taken in natural, even very low, light, without the optical distortion that would result from the use of wide-angle lenses.
I hope this book will find a place in the growing global respect for nature!