Shortlist, Beauty of the Small World by Pierre Anquet
"My goal is to mix art and small creatures, showing beauty where others see ugliness. To my mind, there is beauty everywhere if you look with fresh eyes. Humble creatures such as the bluebottle fly are magnificent, I love their near-perfect symmetry. This series was created in the studio - I spent hours cleaning up dust, replacing legs and antennas, rehydrating eyes and lighting each subject. To achieve maximum sharpness I used focus stacking, combining hundreds of images. Most of the subjects were found dead in my home or backyard, but others were gifts from collectors and entomologists. It’s my way of immortalising them."