A murmuration of starlings is a beautiful sight to behold, as giant flocks of birds float through the air like a dark cloud with a mind of its own. French photographer Alain Delorme captured this beauty in his project Murmurations, but instead of birds and wildlife photography, Delorme’s images were created through plastic bags and Photoshop.
Here’s what an actual murmuration of starlings looks like when seen in nature:
Delorme wanted to recreate these images in a non-traditional way, so he created a series of images that shows murmurations composed of individual plastic bags. Here’s a closer view showing the individual bags in the swarm:
The Paris-based photographer first gathered up different bags of different styles. He then photographed each bag tens or hundreds of times to collect the bag images he needed for the composite.
Finally came the tedious work of compositing the bag photos into real world scenes in a way that looks natural and believable. He modeled his murmurations after real ones that he observed in actual flight patterns of starlings. Each of his resulting photographs features up to 100,000 bags.
Here are some of the photographs in the series:
This project is meant to highlight the absurd excesses of our modern society and the fact that our manmade materials may have a great impact on the natural world around us.
Image credits: Photographs by Alain Delorme and used with permission