I never would have guessed it, but the coloured shapes in photo above are in fact soap bubbles pressed between glass plates and photographed by the remarkable Felice Frankel.
This is the cover of her book, On the Surface of Things (with George Whitesides, a Chemist at Harvard) first published in 1997 and still in print apparently (with new cover). I got a copy a long time ago and gave it to an artist/friend. It has dozens of stunning images, including the soap prisms above and this one below: buckling gold.
Frankel heads the Envisioning Science program at Harvard’s Initiative in Innovative Computing. Images below from her website. Her more recent book, again with George Whitesides, is called No Small Matter.
Above “Nail art” is from the new book.
Above is a Personal Favourite of Felice Frankel called Femtosecond Traces.
Above another PF of FF called Joanna’s Crystals. A slide show from No Small Matter can be found at Seed Magazine.
Others have also seen and recorded the strange beauty to be found when we look very closely at things, with the help of powerful lenses and a lot of skill.
The above image of a section of a meteorite (“an example of a barred chondrule found in a thin section of JaH 055”) is by Tom Phillips, who is featured (along with other micrographs and his equipment) in an issue of “Meteorite Times Magazine.”. Found at a blog called Goethe etc.
This is, apparently, a photo of the same thing photographed in a different way.
The exacting field of photomicrography produces some amazing images every day, mostly in university labs. Nikon has a contest every year called Small World to celebrate them.
Above, first place winner 1996. Lars Bech Naarden, The Netherlands. Doxorubin in methanol and dimethylbenzenesulfonic acid
Above is the winner from 2008. Michael Stringer, marine diatoms.
And the above placed 17th in 1993. By Derek Hull University of Liverpool
Fracture surface of mica.
Finally, the image below from close lookers in the UK.
I think it could be a winner among certain art lovers I know. Image from here.
No question that small is often beautiful. The truth is, the very very small can be very very beautiful.