Photographer captures flocks of birds at the perfect moment so they look like incredible sculptures
Birds have always provided inspiration for artists, but one Spanish print-specialist is taking their representation to the next level with a stunning photographic project.
By using long exposure and a uniquely-gifted eye, Barcelona’s Xavi Bou has created an innovative way to depict the animals in flight with a series of beautiful images that have taken the internet by storm.
Check out an interview with Bou here:
According to his official website, Bou’s technique involves focusing on birds “in order to capture in a single time frame, the shapes they generate when flying, making visible the invisible.” The result is a series of abstract, affecting shapes set above an often motionless landscape, simultaneously looking both geometric and totally natural.
In order to capture his most arresting images, Bou travels to all corners of the globe, including Iceland, The Alps and Wyoming. However, the majority of his work is based in Spain, where he can usually be found either in the field or in the studio, preparing a new book based on his photography.
One snap that has garnered a lot attention online is a snap of a flock of cranes that Bou captured to perfectly resemble an aircraft. He captioned the pic: In Gallocanta every year thousands of cranes spend the winter. During the day they feed in the fields and at night they sleep in the lagoon. So every morning and evening there is a short migration where groups of dozens of individuals are formed."
The ongoing project, dubbed “Ornitographies”, has been running since 2012, when Bou was first inspired to capture and create the incredible shapes. As he explains on his website:
“My intention is to capture the beauty of the bird’s flight in a single moment, making the invisible visible. Ornitographies moves away from the purely scientific practice of Chronophotography that 19th century photographers Eadward Muybridge and Étienne Julies Marey developed. It is the balance between art and science, a project of naturalist discovery, and, at the same time, an exercise of visual poetry.”
Understandably for such an individualistic approach to art, Bou’s images have helped him attract quite a following. As well as having his work featured in the likes of National Geographic, he is cultivating a growing following on social media. Who says Instagram has to be all about selfies?