Reader Lenora called my attention to some stunning bird photos on Atlas Obscura, which you can see in the following article (click on screenshot):
Have a look!
As author Winnie Lee notes, Bou captures the flight pattern of either single birds or groups of birds by taking videos and then lumping (as I gather) several frames into a single image).
Dark, sinuous lines float in a blue sky. It seems straight out of sci-fi or fantasy—a fantastical spacecraft transitioning into its cloaking shield, or a mythical beast in flight. In reality, it is cranes at Gallocanta Lake in Spain, dozens of them, traveling between where they feed in the fields and where they sleep in the water. It is many frames, compressed to a single moment. Catalan photographer Xavi Bou is fascinated with birds and the challenge of making their flight patterns visible. He has combined his passions for nature, art, and technology to create these images which he calls “ornithography,” from the Greek ornitho– (“bird”) and graphe (“drawing”).
These seem to be the cranes:
Here’s how he does it; I don’t fully understand how it works but perhaps a reader can clarify:
Creating these images is a slow process. He might spend a couple of days at a site recording video footage. Then it can take a week to 10 days to process the images in low resolution, and then another week to create a high-resolution final image. “To be able to show a period of time in a single image and not do it through a long exposure,” he says, “what I discovered is that I had to take many images per second and merge them into one. I shoot between 30 and 120 frames per second, so I use high-resolution movie cameras and shoot most of the time in slow motion … Then I merge the sequence into a single image.”
At any rate, the images of flight are stunning, and I’ll show three more (you can see many more at the Instagram site linked to his name above):
And this must be a murmuration!