Thursday, January 20, 2011

Say FREEZE! Amazing images of birds captured at 1/8000th of a second by amateur British wildlife photographer


Freeze! A Red Shafted Northern Flicker is frozen by amateur wildlife photographer Roy Hancliff at 1/8000th of a second

These birds would normally be gone in a flash but British wildlife lover Roy Hancliff has frozen them in time at an astonishing 1/8000th of a second using a home-made photography set he built in his garden.

Revealing the hidden glory of the animals in flight, these stunning pictures show the moments normally too quick to see with the naked human eye.

Included in the astounding collection is a super-speed mid-air duel between two Pine Siskins in a conflict over their patch.

Snapped: Two Pine Siskins are shown in a mid-air brawl after Roy Hancliff's amateur photography set captured the birds at 1/8,000th of a second

Mr Hancliff, 65, from Oxford, has even managed to freeze still hummingbirds, who are famed for their speed with wingbeats of up to 90 times every second.

Another startling picture shows a small chickadee flying straight at the camera like a low-flying bomber.

To capture every intricate movement on camera the shutter is opened and closed 250 times faster than a person can blink.

Frozen: A hummingbird - notoriously hard to capture - prepares to feed on bee balm

An osprey, left, and a stellers jay caught in mid flight in Okanagan Valley garden in British Columbia, Canada

And hidden from the winged creatures in the back garden of his log cabin in British Columbia, Canada, he polishes the process by firing five flashes simultaneously at an even more impressive 20,000th of a second.

To highlight the birds, he paints his own coloured backgrounds by hand and sets them behind the birds' feeding area.

By doing this he removes the 'clutter' of the trees and plants in his garden and makes sure the birds really stand out for the viewer.

Full flight: A House Finch looks as though it is attacking the camera, careering straight for the lens

Happy snappy: Rot Hancliff took up nature photography when he moved with his wife to Canada in 2003

Mr Hancliff said: 'When I take the shot its so quick I don't see it. Our eyes simply aren't fast enough to register all the action that is happening right in your own back garden.

'It's only afterwards when I check what I have that I know what images I've got. You really have no idea of what you are getting until you review the pictures later.

'I'm stunned by the beauty of a regular bird you see all the time suddenly looking very different when it's frozen in time.

'I've managed to document behaviour that you just can't see without technology to help you.

'People are really shocked when they look at my photos, because it shows those moments they never get to see normally.'

source: dailymail

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