Pigeons Are Beautiful, so Start Photographing Them

Ask most city dwellers how they feel about the ubiquitous Rock Dove—a.k.a. the pigeon—and their response will likely range somewhere between indifference and outright loathing. But photographer and New Yorker Andrew Garn finds them fascinating subjects—so much so that he recently published a whole book of photos of the species, The New York Pigeon. Most of the photographs in Garn’s book were shot in a studio, with subjects on loan from the Wild Bird Fund, a nonprofit that rehabs injured and orphaned birds, which is where he came to appreciate the subtle beauty of this much-maligned species. “You see these colors and patterns, you start to look at what feathers are made up of, " Garn says. "It opens your eyes." In addition to the studio, Garn has also spent plenty of time shooting this species on their home turf in the urban jungle. Here he offers some guidance on how to capture shots that give these urban warriors the respect they’re due.