Nilsson, Lennart

Nilsson, Lennart lĕn´närt nĭl´sôn [key], 1922–2017, Swedish photographer who made pioneering microphotographs of embryos and the human body. Nilsson began his career as a photojournalist, chronicling (1945) Norway's liberation from Nazi occupation and later covering such subjects as a polar bear hunt, a rural midwife, and African fishermen; he also made portraits of notable Swedes. He began specializing in microphotography in the early 1950s; Life magazine published his photograph of a human embryo in 1953. Using high-definition, 3D ultrasound, a scanning electron microscope, an endoscope , and special lenses, he documented a human embryo's development, the superb color photographs of which appeared (1965) in Life and as the book A Child Is Born. He later photographed blood cells, bacteria, and the HIV and SARS viruses. Other books include Behold Man (1974), which explored the body's interior, and The Body Victorious (1987), which looked at the immune system. Nilsson also made two Emmy-winning documentaries, The Miracle of Life (1984) and Odyssey of Life (1996).

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