Bob Sober creates beautiful, high-def photos of bugs

As 2018 ARTworks artist-in-residence, Bob Sober taught Holland Hall students about his extreme macro photography.

After a nearly 30-year career in architecture, Bob Sober retired to give himself time to focus on other interests, including art.

A Tulsa native, Sober has an extensive fine arts portfolio, including oil paintings and charcoal drawings. But it’s his most recent photography project that’s causing some to "bug out."

Using extreme macro photography techniques, Sober captures images of insects that reveal details otherwise invisible to the naked eye. With the help of cutting-edge technology, Sober’s unique artistic vision has given insects larger-than-life proportions.

It’s a project that has taken him to exhibitions across the country, and has earned him the honor of an ARTworks artist-in-residency at Tulsa’s own Holland Hall.

During his 2018 residency, Sober showcased his work at the Walter Arts Center Holliman Gallery while inspiring a new generation of student artists.

"This experience had an enormous impact on me," Sober says. "From the beginning, it was clear this residency had a much greater purpose than an exhibition."

The Holland Hall showcase, which took seven months to plan and create, features striking photographs of beetles from the order Coleoptera.

"With the assistance of several entomology students at Oklahoma State University, we prepared about 400 beetles for photography," Sober says. Their combined effort resulted in 175 images, 129 of which made it into the exhibition.

As part of his residency, Sober had the opportunity to address Holland Hall’s entire student body, host workshops and mentor students individually. Some of those students even created essays and science experiments based on Sober’s beetle photography — further proving that science and art can beautifully coexist.


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