Christian Spencer's Image

A black jacobin hovers in front of the morning sun and as the light penetrates its wings the feathers become ‘filled with rainbows’. Christian used the high clouds as a secondary filter to reveal this prism effect, otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

Hummingbirds have the fastest wingbeats in the bird world – up to 90 beats per second. As light passes through the narrow gaps in-between feathers, it is split – or diffracted – into the colours of the rainbow, creating a shimmer.

Behind the lens

Christian Spencer

Christian Spencer


Christian is an artist, filmmaker and photographer. He started painting professionally in 1996, and in 1998 moved to a sheep station in an isolated farm in South Australia's Flinders Ranges to work and paint. Since 2001 he has spent long periods in Brazil exhibiting his paintings, and has won 19 international awards for his artistic nature documentaries and several more for photography.

Image details

  • Canon EOS Rebel T6i
  • 18–135mm f3.5–5.6 lens at 59mm
  • 1/3200 sec at f20  •   ISO 100 tripod
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

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