A Magnified Peacock Feather Reveals Incredible Color and Texture

Peacock feathers are stunning from afar—the fan, the pageantry—but they become something entirely different close up.

British Columbia-based photographer Waldo Nell is an expert at capturing the extraordinary, even when he’s not working with a camera. Nell actually uses an Olympus BX53—that’s a microscope for the less scientific among us—to capture the most extreme closeups of the natural world, such as fish, insects, and these arresting photos of peacock feathers. After capturing the minute details of each with the microscope, Nell creates image composites that result in these high-def photos.

We’ve seen peacock-feather art in the past (see this artist’s outrageous sculptures made from feathers), but we’ve never seen them like this. The shots capture aspects of the feathers that are almost alien: strands that look like shimmering tentacles, tapestries of fluffy thread that look almost like plantlife, and, of course, the incredible iridescent colors—vibrant down to the tip of a single strand.

Overall, the photos are a beautiful reminder of what exists around us—even when we can’t see it.

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[Via Collosal]

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