"Flight is the essence of birdness. I strive to illustrate the beauty and complexity of avian flight."
-- Peter Cavanagh
100 Flying Birds: Photographing the Mechanics of Flight offers a vivid and varied glimpse into the world of birds. A white-tailed eagle plummeting through a Japanese sky, a brown pelican striking a silhouette against an Ecuadorian sunset, an Atlantic puffin carrying its fish dinner above the Scottish coast, or a keel-billed toucan gliding through a Costa Rican jungle canopy; readers will marvel at the splendor of birds in flight while learning the techniques to capture these gravity-defying moments from a world-class nature photographer.
For each picture, author and photographer Peter Cavanagh shares his most evocative thoughts: the challenges of the shoot, the beauty of the location, and the curiosities of the species. Bird people will enjoy the bird photographs and facts, travelers will gobble up the tales of distant parts, and photographers will absorb the technical details. For instance, readers might be surprised to see that a very slow shutter speed can freeze the motion of hummingbird wings.
Peter Cavanagh has collected 100 beautiful photos spanning a wide range of species. The subjects of each of the 11 chapters are:
"Through his photographic lens, Peter illuminates the beauty, grace and elegance of birds in flight, building on his knowledge and expertise as a biomechanist and avocations as an airplane pilot and photographer.... His lovely photographs are complemented by engaging prose that provides fascinating historical contexts of his subjects, their flight ecology and conservation status, and guidance for aspiring wildlife photographers on best practices and photographic equipment needed to capture the exceptional quality of the images he shares in his book."
-- Andrew A. Biewener, Lyman Professor of Biology, Harvard University
"a must read for anyone who has ever marveled at a bird in flight, on the hunt or soaring in the wind. Peter Cavanagh has married his insight as a kinesiologist and as a pilot, to his exceptional talent as a photographer, bringing the reader astonishing photographs of birds from every corner of the globe."
-- Eva J. Pell, Former Undersecretary for Science, Smithsonian Institution
"What a lavish production, and a dedication to birds and their flight, by a committed photographer and bird-lover with a consuming passion and the latest equipment to capture their marvel in flight. A perfect combination. Perusing this gorgeous book will make your spirit soar. I especially liked the intimate stories associated with each of the stunning photographs. The book is a delight to the eyes, mind and spirit."
-- Bernd Heinrich, Professor Emeritus in Biology, University of Vermont and author of Winter World.
Peter Cavanagh is a wildlife photographer who has been taking pictures since he was a boy in England. Peter's migration to the photography and study of bird flight evolved from his study of flight aerodynamics for aircraft pilot qualifications; his professional training in anatomy, biomechanics, and high-speed photography; and his love of nature and the outdoors. Peter's images have been included in the Audubon Society's Top 100 Bird Photographs of the Year, he is a member of the North American Nature Photographers Association, and he has guest-curated the exhibit "How Birds Fly" at the Seattle Museum of Flight. Peter lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, USA with his wife, artist Ann Vandervelde.