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Bird Flight Patterns Get Captured in Stunning Still Images

For the past five years, Xavi Bou has been hard at work on his 'Ornitographies' photography series.
Images courtesy of the artist

For five years Xavi Bou has traveled in order to document the flight patterns of several different species of bird. Inspired by the birds he used to see on long walks with his grandfather, Bou decided to try to capture the invisible shapes that birds form while flying. His technique is based on chronophotography, the photographic practice which attempts to document movement by overlaying several frames.


Bou’s series, Ornitographies, is deeply related to the works of filmmaker Paul Parker who collapsed an hour of bird footage into a minute of terrifying bird-anxiety and playfully time-bent seagull flight patterns. It’s also reminiscent of Duke Riley’s recent performance piece in which he released thousands of birds into flight, with LED lights strapped to their legs. Bou’s photography, however, adds a dimension of stillness to this ongoing conversation. His pieces exude both dynamic and static elements, often resembling abstract paintings mixed with landscape photography.

Each photograph in Ornitographies demonstrates unique movement and setting, ranging from highways to seascapes and from intense circles to simple lines. Born in Barcelona, Xavi Bou originally studied geology and photography, and became a fashion photographer in 2003. He has studied photographic retouching with Lacrin Studio since 2009. Bou also teaches photography and has a deep love of nature and travel.

To see more of Ornitographies, visit Xavi Bou's website.


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