Photos from my July 2011 show at the F/9 Collective
When I started in avian photography, it meant going into the hills in search of huge raptors, birds which soared so high, and moved so quickly, I was ill equipped to capture them with my meager skills and equipment. Dissatisfied and considering it some type of consolation prize, I began shooting crows and gulls. These “scavengers of the sky” are birds which very few people, myself included, respected. They are more often shooed away for dropping on cars or tearing into trash bags in search of food than praised for their beauty.
Then something miraculous happened. As I followed them around, as I learned about them, as I captured them in flight time and time again, I discovered that these birds were intelligent, fiercely driven, and above all else, had a beauty about them when they soared, not in search of prey, but for the sheer joy of moving from place to place, gliding on the unseen thermal currents all around us.
This drove home an important point to me; The beauty of flight is not owned merely by the kings of the air, but by every beast that flies, when you know how to look. Going back to the classical definition of stoicism, not one of enduring pain without expressing feeling, but of understanding that while we may not control the world around us, we do control our own reactions to it, and our own daily walk, I could hope for no greater model than the crow and the gull, both of whom subside on whatever is present, but never lose the drive to fly, to sit on the highest branches, and to skim inches over the surface of the earth, feeling the sheer joy of being.
I hope that these images are as inspiring to you, as the creatures they represent are to me.