Majestic images of a flock of starlings that looks like a giant bird have been shortlisted for a major photography prize

Copyright: © Daniel Biber, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
  • The shortlist for the 2018 Sony Wold Photography Awards has been released.
  • A series of images from semi-professional photographer Daniel Biber shows a swarm of starling forming the shape of a giant bird.
  • The images were taken near Sant pere Pescador in Catalonia, Spain.
  • The winners will be revealed on April 19 at Somerset House in London.

A series of photos showing a swarm of starlings creating the shape of a giant bird have been shortlisted for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.

Nearly 320,000 images were submitted across 10 categories by photographers from over 200 countries and territories – the highest number of entries to date.

A shortlist – or the top 10 photos across each category – has been decided across the Awards’ four competitions: Professional, Open, Youth, and Student Focus.

Taken by semi-professional photographer and aerospace engineer Daniel Biber, the images, titled “Fantastic Starling Swarm,” and shortlisted for the Professional Natural World & Wildlife category.

They were taken on December 31, 2016, near Sant pere Pescador in Catalonia, Spain.

“For years, I have been observing huge swarms of starlings in the area,” Biber said. “This time I had scouted over several days, where the starlings gather in the evening to sleep and tried to capture this impressive spectacle.

“I took thousands of shots and here I had the incredible luck of witnessing the rushing swarm taking on the unique shape of a huge, flying bird (no retouching!).

“Then it disintegrated again to form itself into an impressive, large, pecking bird.” There’s a special name for a large groups of starlings, which is referred to as a murmuration.

Copyright: © Daniel Biber, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
Biber, who lives in Hilzingen, Germany, said he has “always stayed true to my analogue roots.”
“A good picture should be created while taking the shot, and not afterwards on the computer,” he said, “That is why I limit image processing to a minimum.”

The Professional competition is judged on a series of works,while the Open competition is judged on a single image.

The shortlisted Professional and Open images will go on to compete to become category winners, with the chance of being selected as Photographer of the Year winning $US25,000, or Open Photographer of the Year winning $US5,000.

The overall winners will be revealed on April 19 at Somerset House in London, with an exhibition of all shortlisted and winning images to follow.

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