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Insects Unlocked

Raised toward our $8,000 Goal
213 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 16, at 11:59 PM CDT
Project Owners

Insects Unlocked

The University of Texas at Austin's Insect Image Lab will create thousands of beautiful, unique, and informative visual works for release into the public domain. Under the mentorship of Dr. Alex Wild, professional photographer and UT's curator of entomology, a team of students will learn the art and artistry of digital microphotography while capturing images of Texas's smallest wildlife. The resulting image collection will be open for anyone to use, free of the constraints of traditional copyright.


Butterfly Wing Scales

A Public Resource

Where can you use Insects Unlocked's images? Anywhere you'd like! Web pages, magazine covers, books, billboards, blogs, t-shirts, scientific papers, apps, social media, coffee mug designs, classroom presentations, Wikipedia, and more. Ours are public works and can be used for anything, including commercialization, without the need for advance permission or even credit.



Your Contribution

Donations to Insects Unlocked support several undergraduate students as they learn the University of Texas imaging system and receive training in scientific imaging, entomology, and outreach. Donations will also improve our processing computers, add cameras and lighting rigs for field use, and offset the costs of web hosting. Our team will start in the summer of 2015, using the 2015-16 academic cycle as a pilot while we evaluate the feasability of a long term publicly-funded program.

Antennae Forward

The amount and type of images we produce is proportional to the level of support we receive. Our image lab is located inside the UT insect collection, and we begin with high-magnification captures of curated material, as well as live field photography at the adjoining Brackenridge Field Laboratory. Should we exceed our funding goal, the Insects Unlocked team may be able to mount expeditions to diverse parts of Texas to photograph and video more live insect behavior in the field. 

With your help, we can create a valuable public resource. Thanks for your support!

Follow the project on Twitter at @InsectsUnlocked, and view our images on Flickr. The technical aspects of our imaging system are described in Scientific American.


Paper wasp sting

Our way
of Thanking You


The Mighty Mite

A personalized shout-out on social media from the Insects Unlocked account. Can include a link to your website or portfolio.

98 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2015


The Longhorn Beetle

Take home an 8x12" archival print of your choice from the Insects Unlocked portfolio, signed by the photographer.

40 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2015


The Blue Morpho

Take home a 16x24" archival print of your choice from the Insects Unlocked portfolio, signed by the photographer.

9 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2015


The Muse

The Insects Unlocked team will work with you remotely to create custom public domain images on a subject of your choice.

4 of 15 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2015


The Co-Pilot

Enjoy a full-day personalized session on the Insects Unlocked imaging rig. Learn how it works, and take home a pile of astonishing images you create yourself. In this case, the copyright stays with you.

0 of 5 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2015
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