This photographer captures birds as poetry in motion

This photographer captures birds as poetry in motion

Six photos taken from Christian Spencer’s poem “Poetry in the Sky” show the impressionistic beauty of blue and yellow macaws, and other birds.


By

Christian Spencer
|

Published Nov 9, 2022 3: 30 PM

A hummingbird called black jacobin in flight.

A hummingbird called
A black jacobin flying. Christian Spencer

Excerpted from Poetry in the Sky by Christian Spencer. Copyright (c) 2022. Available at teNeues Publishing

Only in flight can you see the true beauty of a bird. This poses artistic and technical challenges for the photographer. Whether it is the hummingbird flying at 50 kilometers an hour and 60 wing beats a second or a wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax) gliding over the salt lakes of the interior of Australia–when captured properly, they pass a serene and poetic image like no other animal.

Poetry of Birds book cover with iridescent hummingbird silhouette on black
Courtesy of teNeues Publishing

Photographs from large flocks, such as Australian parrots can look like impressionistic paintings with lots of depth and movement. Hummingbirds frozen in flight with dew-dropped flowers can sometimes look like 3D sculptures. The scale-throated hermit (Phaethornis eurynome), while sitting on a branch, can sometimes appear dull and inconspicious, but once captured hovering and feeding on delicate flowers, its full splendor can truly be seen. The blue and yellow macaw (Ara ararauna) of Brazil is one of the most beautiful birds in the world. It measures more than a meter long and glides through the often harsh and dry landscapes in a dance full of technicolored poetry.

Many birds give off the impression that they are performing highly synchronized ballets or swimming through invisible liquids.

This photographer captures birds as poetry in motion
Australian emus. Christian Spencer
This photographer captures birds as poetry in motion
Galah. Christian Spencer
This photographer captures birds as poetry in motion
A green-headed tanager. Christian Spencer
This photographer captures birds as poetry in motion
Blue-and-yellow macaws. Christian Spencer
This photographer captures birds as poetry in motion
Little corella. Christian Spencer

Buy Poetry in the Sky by Christian Spencer here.

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