Christian Spencer, a photographer and artist, was standing on his verandah in Rio de Janeiro when he made an incredible discovery. A beautiful prism effect appeared when the black Jacobin hummingbird flew with the sun striking its open wings. It looked like its body was made of rainbows at the time.
Spencer documented the bird’s movements for a film called The Dance of Time in 2011. The film went on to win ten international awards, including three for best film. But, hummingbirds, that wasn’t the end of the rainbow. Spencer returned to the subject several years later. “I decided to use my camera to photograph the same phenomenon,” he tells My Modern Met. The resulting series is called Winged Prism, and the images reveal “a secret of nature that cannot be seen with our eyes,” according to Spencer.
Although Winged Prism appears to be too magical to be true, Spencer claims that no digital manipulation was involved. “There is no special technique,” he says, “just light diffraction through the wings of this unique hummingbird.” The breathtaking beauty it creates is what makes these images so unique. “Nobody could have ever imagined this was a reality,” he says. “I get emails every day from people all over the world who are moved by these images.”
One image from Winged Prism is now available as a limited edition print from Spencer’s website.
Christian Spencer, an artist and photographer, captured the breathtaking sight of the sun shining on the wings of a black Jacobin hummingbird.
The prism effect creates the illusion that the creature’s body is made of rainbows.