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What Happens When a Bird’s Wings Sync Up Perfectly with a Camera’s Frame Rate

Bird Wings Frame Rate Stroboscopic Motion Illusion

Sometimes security cameras can take some strange footage, and Texan Al Brooks was in for a treat when he reviewed video from outside his home. As a bird flies by the camera, it looks to almost be floating while pausing for a moment to take in the scenery.

This isn’t the work of a video effects artist; it’s actually a visual phenomenon known as a stroboscopic effect. By chance, the bird’s wings were beating at the same rate as the frame rate of the camera, making it appear as though the wings were still. It’s the same effect you are looking at if you see a video where a helicopter’s propellers or a car’s wheels look frozen, even though they’re actually in motion.

Watch what happens when a camera’s frame rate perfectly syncs up with flapping bird wings:

h/t: [Neatorama]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.

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