Who knew hummingbirds’ wings turn into rainbows when photographed against the sun?
Australian artist and photographer Christian Spencer made an amazing discovery while standing on his verandah in Rio de Janeiro. When he photographed the black Jacobin hummingbird flying in front of the sun, a beautiful prism effect occurred.
At that very moment, the hummingbird’s feathers turned into a perfect rainbow of colors.
Spencer has been following hummingbirds with his camera for years, and his film recording of the phenomenon was included in his 2011 short film, The Dance of Time.
The movie received 10 international awards and three best film honors. But that wasn’t the end of his fascination with the rainbow hummingbirds. Years later, Spencer returned to the subject.
“I decided to try and photograph the same phenomenon with my camera,” he told Earthly Mission. The resulting series, Winged Prism, reveal “a secret of nature that cannot be seen with our eyes.”
“Nearly all of the photos were taken in 2014. I have tried many times unsuccessfully to take similar photos but I think it depends on the atmospheric conditions and how much magic is in the air,” he added.
Despite the fact that we live in an age of post-production and image manipulation, these photos were never manipulated digitally. The visual effects you see here occur naturally.