Birds Captured in Bursts Make for Some Great Photos

Birds Captured in Bursts Make for Some Great Photos

Xavi Bou shoots image-bursts of birds and then compiles them in Photoshop to form the working project called "Ornitographies." It almost looks like frequencies moving across the photograph, and there’s a visible rhythm that is not so obvious when comparing it to what we know as an image of a bird flying. It tells a story, capturing an event in totality. These images show how birds move together as one organism, communicating in some way or form to make their flight time together as productive or joyful as possible.

He shoots with Canon and mostly uses his 70-200mm lens. Even if you can get closer with a 300mm, this lens can reach quite a distance and capture detail quite successfully. He shoots in the afternoons, as this is the time most of the birds come from other areas across the river delta he usually shoots at, and this time also lends itself to having colorful, interesting skies.

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There is much depth in the way these images are perceived. The concept of these Ornitographies are described to "arise from the author's concern for capturing those unnoticed moments and from the interest in questioning the limits of human perception." The images communicate flight in a way that we never could've had it not be for the advancement of technology. 

The challenge for him is to keep being original, knowing there is always something new, and that everything is not already done. His advice is to find what excites you and go for it. It's work where "the technology, science, and creativity combine to create evocative images which show the sensuality and the beauty of the birds' movements and which are, at the same time, clues for those wishing to identify or recognize them."

xavi-bou-birds-composite-ornitographies-photography-4xavi-bou-birds-composite-ornitographies-photography-5For me, it was about frequencies that I saw in the birds' flight patterns. I've always wondered how birds are able to fly together like that. Within a millisecond, the whole flight of birds can change direction. Here, we get a small glimpse of this natural instinct of the collective to do so, while also seeing the singled-out bird creating its own wave frequencies. You can follow this project and find some more images on his website.

All images used with Xavi Bou's permission. 

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12 Comments

Amazing! I wonder what kind of frame rate hes shooting at.

Wouter du Toit's picture

Euan, let me see if I can find out.

Wouter du Toit's picture

Hi Euan, I have spoken to Xavi who says he now rents cinema camera and shoots video and then blends the frames. He uses a Blackmagic Ursa. Check it here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=blackmagic+ursa&N=0&InitialSea...

it's stuff like this that is inspiring to me. think outside the box, be original, think ART. a reminder it hasn't ALL been done. (maybe this has been done before but you get my point.)

Paul Schliebs's picture

That's really quite beautiful!

Awesome, original and inspiring stuff. That's thinking out of the box for you. Thanks for this Wouter this was a joy to see.

Mark Evans's picture

Very cool...

Geoffrey Badner's picture

I wonder how he composites that many frames into one image.

Shannon Duffy's picture

this is so cool!

Jonny Burch's picture

Wow that's photography I would love to frame and display in my home.

Wouter du Toit's picture

Hi Jonny, I'm sure you can contact him via his website and buy a print.