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Capital's birds in the frame

30 August 2006

Ronnie and Reggie, magpie geese, 'march along like a couple of villains' in this photograph from in a new photographic exhibition.

This is one of the 70 stunning images in Birds of Barnes at the Natural History Museum at Tring , Hertfordshire.

Artist, Justin de Villeneuve, is more used to photographing models and rock stars such as Twiggy and David Bowie. This is Justin's first exhibition of bird photography. Years of working closely with people has clearly influenced his work as the images reflect each bird's character and body language. Tufted ducks are, according to Justin, the species that best reflects the 'constant preening and posing' of fashion models. 

'Photographing birds is the best thing I've ever done,' said Justin. 'I was used to Vogue shoots, with fashion models. I've now realised that birds are much more enjoyable to work with - they don't talk back or charge extortionate rates!'

The exhibition is the result of 18 months photographing birds at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust's (WWT) London Wetland Centre in Barnes, west London.

'My doctor told me I needed more exercise, so I started taking a daily walk around the WWT London Wetland Centre,' said Justin. 'I take my camera everywhere, and so soon started snapping away at the birds I came across, although at first the only ones I could recognise were robins, blackbirds and sparrows.'

Birds of Barnes is free and is on until Wednesday 11 October.

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