©Pal Hermansen

Found Art

After realizing that a lamp in his home in Norway was serving as an unfortunate light trap for insects, Pål Hermansen made an image of its contents. He emptied the winged bugs onto a light table left over from his slide photography days, he explains. Then he used a weak flashlight to illuminate the insects’ details.

©Pal Hermansen

“I wanted to express the chaos and diversity of this discovery but also to find some kind of composition,” he explains. “To me, it’s a visual reminder of the important and extreme diversity of animals around us that we take for granted.”

The image won Hermansen the honor of 2021 Close-up Photographer of the Year. More than 9,000 images were submitted from 56 countries into nine different categories.

Amanda Arnold is a senior editor.