Look closely: these are not flocks of birds, they are flocks of plastic bags

This starling set of ‘photos’ by French photographer Alain Delorme were painstakingly composed from stills of plastic bags that he duplicated multiple times to achieve the result of mimicking a flock of birds gracefully souring through the sky. As he told Wired Magazine: ‘I have always found plastic bags across my path, no matter where I travelled in the world. This plastic bag could be anywhere – even hanging on a tree. I thought that it had to fly to land there.

‘I took photos of plastic bags individually [using] a light box to get the bags’ transparency. There is a different bag for every swarm, shot 150 to 200 times. I then duplicated the bags, so in total you have at least 10,000 bags per image. I utilized plastic bags with a thin texture, in different colours – those you find in the markets’.

Little wonder the project, titled Murmurations, took 18 months to complete!