There are hidden creatures in our skies. Long, mysterious oscillating bodies, suspended in the air with wings marching in formation in the way a millipede’s thousand legs moves in waves. But these air bound beings aren’t visible in the decisive moment, they’re hidden within the passage of time.
Xavi Bou (b. 1979) is a fashion and advertising photographer working from Barcelona who has developed an interest in the flight of birds. In the method Eadweard Muybridge used photography to demonstrate scientific principles of an animal’s movement, Xavi uses the camera to reveal the hidden beauty of a bird’s path.
Unlike other motion analysis which preceded it, Ornitographies moves away from the scientific approach of chronophotography used by photographers like Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne-Jules Marey.
The approach used by Xavi Bou to portray the scene is not invasive; moreover, it rejects the distant study, resulting in organic form images that stimulate the imagination.
In Ornitographies, the skill envied by men, the long lasting shared yearning of flying, is presented to us, extending our visual perception.
Art and science walk hand in hand to create images, which are no longer a single portrait of reality but become a witness of the instants that, for a moment, were past, present and future all at once.
We’ve collated a selection of the beautiful series below.
Xavi hasn’t revealed how he’s achieved these great images, however at Phogotraphy we’re prepared to guess that a mixture of video frame stills and the astrophotography software StarStax may work well. We’d love to hear your ideas too.
All images used with the explicit permission of the artist.