Bird flight patterns captured through long-exposure photography

For several years, Xavi Bou has been using long-exposure photography to capture stills of bird flight patterns. The project, Ornitographies, produced gloriously abstract images. There’s also a video (above) piece under the same premise.

Jessica McKenzie, reporting for Audubon:

More recently, Bou has expanded the project to video, including one called Murmurations that shows a flock of starlings evading a hawk. “What happens is, if in this moment a hawk appears to attack them, it’s when they do this dance,” he says. “The hawk is like carving this ephemeral sculpture that’s in the air.” As with the still images, Bou knit multiple series of photographs together to create an animation. He estimates that every day of filming requires two weeks of post-production work; for Murmurations, he also enlisted the help of a film editor. The final product, which was filmed in southern Catalonia, was then set to ethereal music.

The video deserves the full-screen treatment.

See also the swallows of essex by Dennis Hlynsky.