Tim Laman's Image

The male magnificent riflebird launches into a bewitching mating performance after luring a female to watch.

It flings its neck back to reveal a breast shield of electric blue that shimmers as it catches the light. Whipping its head from side to side, it hops up and down on the branch and cracks the air by whirring its wings. There wasn’t enough light to freeze the motion, and Tim didn’t want to use flash. Instead, he used a relatively slow shutter speed to blur the image.

Behind the lens

Tim Laman

Tim Laman


Tim is a field biologist and wildlife photojournalist with a reputation for returning from the wild with shots of nearly impossible subjects. His pioneering research in the rainforest canopy led to a PhD from Harvard University and the first of many articles for National Geographic magazine. His work has garnered numerous awards, including many in Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Image details

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 600mm f4 lens
  • 1/15 sec at f4  •   ISO 1250
  • Oransbari, West Papua
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