An invisible world captured on film

Faehrenkemper photography image making

This Sunday marks the end of the Ballarat international Foto Biennale; so if you haven’t already paid it a visit, I recommend an excursion to our gold rush town to roam the streets, cafes and galleries for a tone of world-class photography. There is an extraordinary amount of work to cover, but the photography of Claudia Fährenkemper is definitely not to be missed.

Fährenkemper series, the microcosm are images of insects, crystals and planktons taken with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). SEM is able to capture an object at a magnification factor of up to 3,000 x, which produces magnificent depth of focus, breaking entirely new ground in the perception of scale.

Prints are produced in a conventional way and are exhibited in formats between 40x50cm and 80x100cm. The act of reproducing large prints of objects imperceptible to the human eye presents an interesting perceptual jump; these images are not only larger than life, they represent invisible shapes and textures.


Making the invisible visible satisfies a centuries-old human need to better understand the unknown. And ironically these images remind me of outer space – the ultimate imperceptible space.

Faehrenkemper images

Whether you find them ethereal or just a little eerie, they definitely display a rigor for image making that we can only expect from the German photographer. So for a glimpse into another dimension, be sure to get along to the Mechanic’s institute, 117 Sturt Street Ballarat between 10am 5pm this weekend.

And if you’re interested in seeing more photography that plays with scale in a new way, check out our blog on carl kleiner. Kleiner demonstrates that scale is definitely a design principle to consider when taking product photography for your next brand catalogue.

Julia Dowe
Design Creative

images courtesy of

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