Photographer Nick said that he wants to change people’s attitudes about pigeons, including one of the most gorgeous of more than 300 species found worldwide.
Leila Jeffereys, instead than focusing on the common, grey birds that most people identify with the term “pigeon,” has focused her imagery on the more colorful ones.
Leila, 46, pays careful attention to the birds she photographs. Whether it’s the wompoo pigeon, with its purple breast and green wings, or the rose-crowned fruit dove, with its pink head, Leila treats her charges the same way she would a model.
The photographer shoots the bright and fascinating pigeon variations and dove against a stark white backdrop from her basic studio.
Leila began the series Ornithurae three years ago after witnessing a wompoo pigeon’s magnificent plumage firsthand.
Liliela felt that “pigeons and doves were misunderstood,” so she wanted to tell their story and show how varied they could be.
Leila specialized in wildlife rescue birds and also went to Sydney’s famous Taronga Zoo for more unusual species subjects.
Leila explained, “I try to describe it like a photographer’s studio but in terms of bird size.”
There’s a tiny paper roll, a perch instead of a stool to put your stuff on, and some catering – seeds and nuts, as well as water.
Then it’s a matter of sitting back and being quiet, chatting to them gently, looking for a connection.
“They can take the lead and I’ll be there to capture anything unique. ”
“You have to get them to participate,” Leila said of her subjects. Whether it’s a Luzon bleeding-heart dove or a crested pigeon, she needs the same sort of engagement with humans that a photographer would need towards humans.
She is constantly talking to the birds on shoots, attempting to gain their attention and encouraging them to strike an interesting pose.
Leila added: “Pigeons have extraordinary mental and physical powers.
“They can be gorgeous, and they have a long history of assisting humans in delivering messages and even saving lives via their homing capabilities.”