Long-exposure photographer works on his light moves

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Motion study of canoeing. Photo: Stephen Orlando
Motion study of canoeing. Photo: Stephen Orlando

Just when you think there is little left to reveal with photography, Stephen Orlando comes along and shines a new light – ribbons of light to be exact – on motion.

To imagine the push-and-pull sweep of a kayak stroke or the looping follow-thru of a tennis serve, you might think to use video and slow down the sequence of frames to get a sense of the patterns of movement bodies use to propel forward.

Orlando, of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, contains the complete trajectory of movement in a single still frame with long exposures and a simple lighting technique that seems to illuminate the otherwise invisible forces at play.

Meet the pigeon photographer

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Photographer David Stephenson
Photographer David Stephenson

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Woody Allen famously called pigeons flying rats. Photographer David Stephenson calls them thoroughbreds of the sky.

He also realizes the common perception of the pigeon skews more toward Allen’s view. But Stephenson has a growing body of work that could make people reconsider the much-maligned bird.

Stephenson, aka The Pigeon Photographer, runs a website and Instagram feed where his photos attempt to show the intelligence, strength and iridescent beauty of homing pigeons, which he raises in his backyard near Lexington, Kentucky.

“When we see them circling in the air, they move so fast our eye can’t comprehend the beautiful details, the way the feathers curve, the upstroke or downstroke of the wings,” Stephenson told Cult of Mac. “I just want people to appreciate them more. They are beautiful, insanely tough and intelligent.”