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Photography Science

Synchronized Starling Flocks Undulate in Mesmerizing Patterns Captured by Photographer Xavi Bou

April 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

For starlings, there’s truth to safety in numbers. “In winter, starlings join in flocks of thousands of individuals to try to confuse the hawks that attack them, doing a mesmerizing dance,” said Barcelona-based photographer Xavi Bou, who recently released a video chronicling the birds’ synchronized swooping. In “Murmurations,” a name that refers specifically to the phenomenon, Bou captures the avian movements through a series of gray lines that swell and undulate with each obfuscated turn. Set to a soothing track by Kristina Dutton, the video is part of the photographer’s larger Ornitographies project, an ongoing endeavor stemming from his childhood…

 

 



Photography Science

Double Helixes Streak Across the Sky in Multi-Shot Images of Birds by Xavi Bou

October 25, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Spanish photographer Xavi Bou (previously) tracks and records the flight patterns of birds, combining their repetitive movements into elongated shapes that twist through the sky for his series Ornitographies. The images are inspired by chronophotography, a Victorian era photography method that combined multiple images to create movement, and edited digitally in Photoshop. The layered images appear like floating double helixes or fringed ribbon depending on the size and wingspan of each bird, and create elegant gestures as they criss-cross against the blue sky. Recently Bou traveled to Iceland where he captured new species of birds set against a dramatically different…

 

 



Photography Science

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

August 2, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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,…

 

 

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