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Wild Birds Flying: Paul Nelson’s High Speed Camera Project

By fotosiamo on November 30th 2013

As photographers, we are constantly looking for sources of inspirations. For Minneapolis advertising photographer Paul Nelson, he found his inspiration from the bird illustrations of James Audubon’s The Birds of America.

The Wild Birds Flying is Paul’s personal project that captured songbirds in mid-flight using a specialized high-speed camera rig. By using this camera and shooting against a white background devoid of the birds’ natural surrounding, Paul’s able to create surreal images that almost has the look of highly-detailed illustrations.

Paul Nelson - Chickadee-Schematic-650x411

Paul Nelson - House-Finch

Paul Nelson - Nuthatch

The video below shows how you can also create a similar high-speed rig using 3 speedlights, a white background, and a high speed trigger like the Trigger Trap.

No birds are harmed in any way to create this imagery.The photos are taken at bird bandings when the birds are released or when wild birds are feeding and not captured strictly for the sake of photography.

Below are several more images from the project. To see the rest of Wild Birds Flying, you can visit

Paul Nelson - Red-Eyed-Vireo

Paul Nelson - Sparrow

Paul Nelson - American-Redstart

Thanks to Lost at E Minor for the find.


Joe is a rising fashion and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He blends creativity and edge with a strong style of lighting and emotion in his photographs. Be sure to check out his work at and connect with him on Google Plus and on Facebook

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