Is this fauna and habitat? I’m not sure, it was meant this way. The photo was taken in late November in Sardinia. Starlings were joining to build a huge swarm. Must have been thousands of them right above me that evening. It seemed, they were playing, with the sky as their playground - or habitat for a few swarmy days :slight_smile: - forming patterns just for some seconds, than rebuilding for something new. I tried to catch the moment, when a pattern itself looked like a bird.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Zoom in or zoom out? They gave me the chance to try both for about half an hour. But I’m still not sure, what to prefer. Would the composition have been better with e.g. 100mm showing a little more of the sky ?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Canon 5D, EF 100-400mm @130mm. f5.6, 1/2000, ISO 1600, handheld

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Michaela, watching video of Starling swarms is always a treat. This still does an excellent job of capturing the mixture of shape and motion. The touch of pink cloud adds some good color contrast. This looks great as presented with it’s frame filling mix of tight and disperse segments of the swarm.

Very fascinating abstract. I quite like it.

Fascinating image. My eye wants to trace the flock from center to edge and back again to discover a new corner … like watching the birds in motion, except only my eye is moving.
I thought the shape of the cloud was interesting, but it was so pale … Just for kicks, I used Lightroom split toning on the highlights (the clouds) to push more pink into them. Looks like it pinked the sky a bit also.

Beautiful, Michaela. I’m glad we don’t have quite that many here-yet, but their flock maneuvers are fascinating. I like this and I don’t think adding a bit more sky would make much difference unless there was a more interesting formation at the bottom. I kind of like Dick’s idea of pinking up the cloud, but the pink in the sky itself doesn’t work well for my eye.

Thank you, @Mark_Seaver, @Dennis_Plank @Dick_Knudson and @Harley_Goldman for your comments on this photo. I keep this in mind, when autumn swarms are building up again!

What a wonderful experience! I’ve only seen videos of this. I think you did a nice job capturing it. I wonder if there is a way to darken the lighter parts of the swarm to bring out the pattern a little more?

Thank you, Chris. I’ll certainly try some different approaches this autumn, if I’m lucky to see a swarm like that again. Maybe a gradient filter might help, to balance lighter an darker parts then. To have the photo out of the camera as close to the desired result as possible.