Photographer Michael Kern has been drawn to reptiles, amphibians and arachnids since childhood – but he soon recognised that his passion was not one that everyone shares. “A lot of people are unable to get past their primeval fears,” he says, “which begs the question: how do we conserve these fascinating animals?”

Beauty in the Beast ©Michael Kern / naturepl.com
Beauty in the Beast ©Michael Kern / naturepl.com

By experimenting with his images, Kern discovered that he could turn peoples’ fear into fascination. “First, I deconstruct my images to the most basic elements of form, colour, and texture,” he says. “Then I create kaleidoscopic interpretations by cropping, mirroring, and rotating aspects of the original image.” Kern’s images can be seen in the National Geographic story Abstraction Finds Beauty in Beasts, published in the October 2015 issue. More images can be viewed in this online gallery and further information is available in our PDF story here.

*Please note that these images are not available for editorial use until 29th December 2015

Nature Picture Library story of the month – Beauty in the Beast