Renowned animal photographer Mark Harvey is well-known for his fine art equine portraits. His signature style of sculpture-like stillness encapsulates the raw power and grace of the creatures he photographs. But when COVID-19 lockdown began, Harvey looked for a new subject closer to his home of Norfolk, England. During his search, he found the local magpies, blue tits, and starlings to be just as graceful as horses. These British birds are now elegantly frozen in time and space in Harvey's In Flight series.
The photographed birds were wild and free-flying in the Norfolk Broads, a wilderness area near Harvey's home. He had only a brief chance to get each shot as the creatures went about their business. Each resulting image—taken with a medium-format Hasselblad camera—captures the feathery subject in intricate detail, portraying common birds in a new light as graceful dancers and colorful characters.
Harvey's work pays careful attention to characteristics such as the ruffle of a bird's feathers mid-flight. In doing this, his avian photographs question traditional notions of refinement and elegance. “There’s no doubt that the pandemic has forced us to adopt a much slower pace of life. Having lived in Norfolk on and off for over 20 years now, I took the opportunity during the spring to spend more time immersed in the wild, whilst appreciating the nature that is on my doorstep,” he said of the In Flight collection. “Being more closely connected with nature certainly brings a great sense of calm and the closer I looked, the more beauty I saw in these refined animals.”
To learn more about Mark Harvey's photography—avian and equine—check out his website and Facebook. Scroll down to see more of the In Flight collection, which is available as limited-edition fine art prints.