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Surreal Portraits of Wildlife in Nature

The photographer calls the images "hyper real."

Sep 22, 2015 5:00 PMApr 26, 2020 8:30 PM


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Photographer Philippe Martin has perfected a unique type of nature photography that gives his images a hyper-real aesthetic. He accomplishes this by digitally fusing dozens of images of one subject together to create a single image in vibrant focus, almost unnatural to the human eye.

Martin has collected these images in a new book, Hyper Nature, which he says in the foreword "provides the viewer a new perception of biodiversity that shines light on the most humble and prolific of nature's creations."

We've excerpted some of our favorites in the slides to follow.


Photo Credits: Philippe Martin

Here, Boophis boehmei, a species of tree frog endemic to Madagascar. The species is abundant there but loss of forests could jeopardize its future.

Photo Credits: Philippe Martin

The most beautiful grasshopper in the world, Phymateus saxosus madagascariensis, is limited to medium-altitude regions of Madagascar. The family of grasshoppers to which it belongs is commonly known as the gaudy grasshoppers. 

Photo Credits: Philippe Martin

The Perinet chameleon (Calumma gastrotaenia) is more comfortable in a green landscape than in this contrasting environment, where it is visible to potential predators.

Photo Credits: Philippe Martin

The Madagascar lobed argiope belongs to a family of spiders that have brightly colored abdomens. Their name comes from the Greek word for "silver-faced."

Photo Credits: Philippe Martin

The tips of a Lycopodium clubmoss. These primitive plants, similar to ferns, are very common in tropical forests.

Photo Credits: Philippe Martin

A small nest of Malagasy paradise flycatchers, Terpsiphone mutata, found in the spiky leaves of pandanus hidden in the undergrowth. When fully grown, the males of this species will sport brilliant tail plumes that can be as long as their bodies.

Photo Credits: Philippe Martin

A flower bud of Vitex coursii, a flowering woody vine that climbs trees to reach sunlight.

Photo Credits: Philippe Martin

The golden mantella is a rare amphibian limited to the Madagascar forest. It has very limited habitat and is the subject of major ongoing protective measures in the country.

Text and images excerpted from Hyper Nature by Philippe Martin. Used with permission. Firefly Books, September 2015 $39.95.

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