Sean Graesser, a conservation photographer, biologist, and storyteller is in love with birds, the reason why he specializes in them, his favorite being the hummingbird. He studies the habitats and migration patterns of birds. It’s this passion of his that took him to Costa Rica and Panama, where he researched and taught tropical rainforest field techniques for the past 10 years.
This avid nature photographer knows how to portray birds in the most presentable way. He photographs his feathered friend in front of either a white or a black backdrop to bring out the bird’s natural coloring. For this, he simply holds the bird in his hand, positions it against the backdrop, and clicks the pic.
Of course, this process is easier said than done. It’s certainly a challenge to photograph active birds since it requires oodles of patience. For example, once while photographing a Tree Swallow, he simply placed a black backdrop behind its perch and waited. Sure enough, the bird flew to the perch, allowing him to take a beautiful shot that displayed the bird’s bright and vibrant plumage in all its glory.
These incredible bird photos become part of Graesser’s ongoing project that exhibits the lives of birds. His pics are so detailed that even the familiar birds look unfamiliar due to new perspectives and close-up portraiture. His creations emulate the incredibly detailed illustrations of John James Audubon, the American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter, that seem to fly off the page.
Graesser explains on audubon.org, “To this day people are drawn to Audubon’s prints because there’s so much life and movement in them, even though there’s a singular pose. He invoked a feeling that you were looking into the life of the bird he was painting.”
That Graesser’s photographs bring the same spirit as those of Audubon is proved by the fact that they were featured on the National Audubon Society Instagram account. What’s most heartening is these two great bird lovers regularly exchange notes on avian subjects, since Graesser is a seasonal employee of Audubon Connecticut.
Bird pics on Graesser’s Instagram page is a treasure-trove for bird lovers, who number over 223,000 and counting.