Hitchcock meets excellent photography

Warning: For those of you harboring suspicions that the birds are out to get you, Murmur, the incredible feather-filled photo collection by Richard Barnes, might be as spooky as it is beautiful.

Barnes spent two years photographing massive swarms of European starlings—glossy-feathered, black birds with white speckles—congregating for their biannual forage in the Roman countryside. The swarms are their protection against predators, and the group undulates through the sky as each bird desperately avoids being left out on the dangerous edge. Though starlings are about the size of a 20-ounce Coke bottle, through Barnes’s perspective, their flocks are more like smudges of dirt on paper. En masse, they take on a surreal, threatening air, but have no fear: Barnes survived these frightening hordes for a few good clicks, and so, no doubt, should you.

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Hitchcock meets excellent photography