Unusual Composite Images of Birds in Flight Inspired by an 150-Year-Old Technique

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All images via Xavi Bou

Interested in how the human eye perceives birds in flight, Spanish photographer Xavi Bou sought to examine this motion in a way that avoided the blur that comes with creating an image with a long exposure. To do this, he turned to chronophotography, an 150-year-old technique that combines many photographs taken in succession to imitate movement. Unlike this pre-cinema strategy however, Bou uses the power of Photoshop to bring all of his images together into one, making each bird appear like an elongated corkscrew softly floating through the sky. When shooting more than one bird, the image turns into a chaotic configuration, appearing much more like a hurricane than a group of migratory birds.

Bou describes his project Ornitographies as a balance between art and science, relating the works to visual poetry. You can see more images from the project on his website, and take a look at how two other artists documented the motion of birds in flight here and here. (via FastCo Design)

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