The Art of Flying

Birds have often been the subjects of my photography—sometimes perching and sometimes in flight.

Sitting ducks are fun to capture but it’s the airborne egret or hovering hummer that really sets my spirits soaring.  Birds in flight are amazing engineering marvels.  The variety of nature’s adaptations to get such a vast array of bodies off the ground is incredible.  The shapes of wings, the hollowness of bones, the features of feathers.  Think about the differences among turkeys, pelicans and eagles.

Even if it’s engineering that enables avian flight, the end result is an opportunity for photographic art, in at least two ways.  First, and usually with the help of a long lens, one can record the fact of flight closer up than we can usually witness.  By showing the position and the shape of the wings that empowers swimming in the air.

The second possibility for finding the art in flying lies in portraying a feeling, an impression of flight.   With a flock in front of the lens, using black and white, and letting the shutter show the motion, the camera found the art.  The eyes didn’t see it but the artist knew an artful flight of fancy was to be found there.  Your impressions always welcome below.


You will find a larger version, as well as some other examples, both facts and impressions, in my gallery “Wings” by clicking on the partial image below.