If Birds Left Trails Like Tracer Bullets, It’d Look Like This

Dennis Hlynsky, a photographer/filmmaker and professor at Rhode Island Institute of Design, has been filming various bunches of birds — murmurations of starlings, murders of crows, and others — with a techqnique that shows each bird’s trail, in images, from the preceding two seconds. It’s something like the effect of watching fireflies, or tracer bullets, or, as it was put by the fabulous Flowing Data, where I found this, like a video version of long-exposure photography. I could watch these for quite a while.

In each case below, you’ll get a higher-quality if you open the hi-def version in Vimeo (click the little Vimeo bit in lower right-hand corner of a vid you want to watch) and go full-screen.

He has shot starlings; jump to minute 9 for some good action:

1 2014 starlings 00011 from Dennis Hlynsky on Vimeo.

Swallows, quite surreal:

swallows of essex from Dennis Hlynsky on Vimeo.

Black vultures, which may be my favorite:

black vultures from Dennis Hlynsky on Vimeo.

I also like his water-strider paths. What the hell are these things looking for?

Water Strider Paths from Dennis Hlynsky on Vimeo.

And you don’t want to miss Gulls Behind Burger King:

Gulls Behind Burger King from Dennis Hlynsky on Vimeo.

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