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Posts tagged: animal photography

Awe-Inspiring Photos of Holland’s Starling Murmurations

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© Luc Roymans / Offset

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© Luc Roymans / Offset

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© Luc Roymans / Offset

Standing at the outskirts of a forest in the North of Holland, Belgium-based wildlife photographer Luc Roymans captures thousands of starlings as they ascent into the heavens, forming intricate and densely packed hordes across the painted sky.

Forming at dusk when the starlings set out to roost, the mysterious masses of fluttering birds are known as murmurations. Although science is just now catching up with the elusive phenomenon, we now know that starling murmurations can ensure safety for the small birds, serving as an instinctual defense against birds of prey. The changes in the birds’ movements happen at an almost imperceptibly fast rate, with each individual of hundreds or even millions maintaining a keen awareness to the slightest shifts in his fellows.

Through Roymans’s eyes, it seems almost impossible that these magical winged formations could ever be explained away by simple physics. The starlings emerge beneath his gaze as fairies, emissaries from another world, nimble dancers engaging in what he calls “a ballet by the birds.” While shooting, he was most struck by the variations in density of the murmurations, tracing the ways in which the birds alternately fanned out and huddled together. The swarm, he suggests, resembled not the sum of many individual creatures but a single, fluid mass blanketing the evening sky.

All photos featured in this post can be found on Offset, a new curated collection of high-end commercial and editorial photography and illustration from award-winning artists around the world. Offset is a category partner on Feature Shoot.

Photographer Alícia Rius Captures the Mesmerizing Beauty of the Sphynx Cat

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For Disturbing Beauty of Sphynx Cats, Californian animal photographer Alícia Rius examines the beguiling contours of the hairless cat, capturing the paradoxical marriage of elegance and peculiarity inherent in each feline figure.

Mythical Scenes Capture the Bond Between Humans and Birds (NSFW)

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For Birds of Paradise, Israeli photographer Itamar Freed casts a set of models each with a winged guardian, a featured beast that becomes his or her single companion within an enchanted wilderness.

Photographer Chronicles the Lives of Punks Squatting in Leeds

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C & R drinking in the street on a misty winter night in November.

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C laughing in the street around the corner from where he’s squatting.

For Edge of Living, United Kingdom-based photographer Ricky Adam chronicles the ins and outs of daily life for a tight-knit group of young punks squatting in abandoned buildings in Leeds and the surrounding areas.

Vintage Photos Remember the Dogs of the First World War

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A British messenger dog in France during the First World War, 19 May 1918

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Corporal of the Worcestershire Regiment and canine companion, circa 1917. (Note two wound stripes on left cuff – these weren’t introduced until August 1916)

Although most of the heroes of the First World War are remembered as human, tens of thousands of dogs, from Jack Russell Terriers to Dobermans, were shipped from their homes to the trenches, where they put their lives on the line to protect and aid their troops. Dogs of the First World War, opening at Bishopsgate Institute on March 10, pays tribute to these unsung canine guardians through a selection of vintage photographs salvaged over a span of forty years by collector Libby Hall.

Haunting Images of Burned Animal Mounts Photographed After the Fire in Deyrolle Taxidermy in Paris

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Marc Dantan

Immortals, a series by French photographer Marc Dantan, depicts the charred mounts at Deyrolle Taxidermy in Paris after a devastating fire in 2008. Haunting and sorrowful, the images document the damaged taxidermy in its home, the beautiful 18th-century building, as well as another kind of death for the animals preserved.

Poignant Portraits and Stories of Farm Animals Who Have Been Rescued from Abusive Situations

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Norman, resident of Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary
“Norman was a veal calf, originally rescued as a baby from an auction by another sanctuary. He came to us as an adult with his girlfriend, a large black Angus cow named Ellie May. Norman and Ellie May were inseparable, always grazing together and sleeping side-by-side in the barn at night. When Ellie May passed away, Norman grieved for weeks, wandering the fields looking for her, and refusing to eat. He even slept on top of her grave. Eventually, he regained his sweet exuberant personality, but he has been a loner amongst the other cows ever since. He is a gentle giant who loves people and enjoys getting treats. His favorites are apples and cinnamon buns.”
- Terry Cummings, co-founder, Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary

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Mata Hari, resident of SASHA Farm
“By the time my Mata Hari came to live at SASHA Farm, she was already a local celebrity. She’d made the news twice, bloggers were following her travels, and she even had her own Facebook fan page. She was ‘The Ann Arbor Sheep,’ an elusive ewe who had managed to evade capture for months as she grazed Ann Arbor parks and cemeteries, stopped traffic at busy intersections, interrupted business meetings and tennis matches and became to some an urban legend.

“She began frequenting a secluded area behind an Art Van Furniture store, and after she seemed ready to stay a while, they began feeding her. When she showed up one day with a badly wounded neck from a dog attack during the night, they feared she might die of infection. After the police and local animal control were unsuccessful in their attempts to catch her, employees called SASHA Farm. A pen was erected behind the building in the spot where they fed her, and the next day, the door was closed and she was on her way to her new home at SASHA Farm.”
- Amanda, SASHA Farm

For Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals, Florida-based photographer Sharon Lee Hart creates gentle portraits of creatures great and small, all of whom have been delivered from harrowing and abusive situations in live meat markets, cockfighting rings, or slaughterhouses.

‘In This Beautiful Bubble’ Photo Series Captures the Everyday Lives of Kids in An Upscale San Diego Neighborhood

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Rory and Her Pony, 2013

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Amber in Closet, 2010

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Monarch Butterflies and Watermelon, 2013

For In This Beautiful Bubble, San Diego-based photographer Eri Morita captures childhood in her small, quiet neighborhood, where her daughter and her peers come of age within the protective confines of large houses, safe streets, and an idyllic landscape.

Portraits of South African Cows On Their Daily Pilgrimage to the Beach

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Along the southeastern coast of South Africa, the cattle of Pondoland make a daily pilgrimage to seaside, spending their afternoons luxuriating and dipping their hooves into the cool, lapping waves. For generations, the cows and bulls kept by members of the area’s Xhosa tribe have led their calves from their corrals toward the beach, for reasons mysterious to mankind. For Amapondo, Melbourne-based photographer Christopher Rimmer captures the enigmatical beasts silhouetted against the tide, their majestic figures reflected in the glossy sand below.

Moving Photographs of the Last Living Indonesian Orangutans

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A free-roaming young orangutan in Bukit Lawang, an orangutan sanctuary within the Gunung Leuser National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia.

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Staff members at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program examine Angelo, a 14-year-old male orangutan found with air gun pellets embedded in his body.

When Hamburg, Germany-based photographer Sandra Hoyn first encountered the Indonesian orangutans, she was struck by their humanity, discovering signs of joy, pain, and confusion painted across the great apes’ faces. The animals, she explains, were like people but were somehow possessed of a gentleness and quietude that often eludes mankind. After all, she says, they share 97% of our human DNA. For The Last Orangutans, Hoyn documents the critical endangerment of the mild-mannered, sensitive creatures, whose habitats are being devastated with the widespread development of palm oil plantations on the Sumatra and Borneo rainforest.