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A birds-eye view – David Degner

A birds-eye view – David Degner

2024-02-18 23:46:31

I’m a photographer with a fascination for pigeons. This mission started as an experiment to see if attaching a digital camera to a pigeon was even doable – however now it has taken on new objective and which means. From capturing distinctive pictures from a brand new perspective, to probably helping within the understanding of pigeons’ habits and flight patterns, there are numerous prospects for this mission.

First off, I need to specific my gratitude in direction of the pigeon fanciers who’ve trusted me with their beloved pets. It’s by means of their openness and help that I’m able to discover new frontiers throughout the realm of avian pictures. The cultural historical past of pigeons – from seeing them in flocks over China, to the coops above Cairo’s streets – has at all times intrigued me and impressed my work.

Why connect a digital camera to pigeons?

As I launched into this journey, the preliminary objective was merely to find out if it was possible to seize photos by means of a pigeon’s perspective. Nonetheless, because the experiment progressed, I started to ascertain quite a few functions for such know-how: from publishing beautiful collections of pictures in magazines or books, to working with pigeon breeders worldwide to check their birds and their flights extra intently. The chances are really limitless!

I journey loads for my picture assignments, so I wish to meet pigeon fanciers worldwide and work with them to {photograph} their pigeons and their pigeon’s flights.

Perhaps it’s to make a reasonably set of photographs from a brand new perspective. Perhaps it’s to develop the know-how so pigeon fanciers can examine and perceive their birds in a brand new approach. Perhaps there’s an underlying story behind the traits in pigeon racing. There are numerous prospects, and I’m open to solutions.

An early take a look at flight on the Pigeon & Chook Provides of Lengthy Island Public sale.

How did I begin pigeon pictures?

My curiosity about pigeons started nearly 20 years in the past in China. I noticed flocks of tumbling pigeons circling over Kashgar. I spoke sufficient Uighur to discover a coop proprietor and ask some fundamental questions. However there was way more to be taught. I returned to pigeon coops many occasions in Egypt. The house owners had been at all times welcoming. Their peak above town streets made them a refuge.

View from a pigeon coop in Imbaba, Cairo

Certainly one of my favourite initiatives has been this collection of portraits of pigeons.

In Egypt, drones are unlawful, laborious to import, and a great way to get arrested. However there was a second of openness once I acquired to fascinated by making an attempt to connect a GoPro to a pigeon. Sadly, the know-how was too heavy, and the hen couldn’t get off the bottom.

However within the final 5 years, the know-how has improved, the cameras have reduced in size, and the specter of arrest within the U.S. is way decrease. So I’m making an attempt once more.

make a pigeon harness?

I’ve gone by means of a number of designs for making these harnesses and have discovered a couple of methods to make them robust and light-weight.

After a couple of iterations of designs, I’ve a pigeon harness that works nicely. As you may see, nothing is especially robust as a result of a pigeon in flight doesn’t have numerous drive. I consider how a hen is engineered with feathers and bones so skinny that they simply break, and I design it with the same philosophy.

The clasps and elastic are from a cloth retailer. The plastic or cardboard chest plate is from the trash. The again is comprised of a twisty tie. I take advantage of a bit of stitching for the loops that join the digital camera, however I additionally use tremendous glue and gaffer tape the place needed.

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My unique design used a shorter cardboard chest plate, which allowed the digital camera to flex round an excessive amount of, so I’m making an attempt an extended, stiffer plastic chest plate on this iteration.

an early model of pigeon harness at Baron Salcedo’s loft

I discovered one rule of thumb repeated many locations throughout the web “Pigeons weigh between 300 and 500 grams and may carry as much as 10 % of their physique weight, or about 30 to 50 grams

So I designed the digital camera+harness to be about 30 grams. The digital camera is a Insta360 Go 2, which weighs 26 grams. So the harness is about 5-6 grams.

Who else has connected a digital camera to pigeons?

In my quest for information about pigeons, I’ve discovered myself drawn to the work of pioneers like Dr. Julius Neubronner, who patented the “pigeon digital camera” again in 1907. By constructing upon this legacy and pushing technological boundaries, I hope to proceed exploring new methods to seize the marvel and wonder of those exceptional creatures.

I discovered The New Pigeon Guy on youtube, who made a pigeon video greater than ten years in the past.

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