Ruurd Jelle van der Leij is a wildlife photographer from the Netherlands who has been working on a project called Frontals for the last ten years. The project includes photographs of birds shot from the front, which are funny. “I saw right away that they changed the appearance of the birds,” Ruurd explains. “I vowed to concentrate on it from then on and make sure I had at least one frontal in each series. Some birds begin to resemble furious birds, while others become amusing or even absurd.”
According to the photographer, frontal photographs may conceal extreme traits of birds, such as long bills, and altogether alter their look. “Frontals are really the typical method of gazing at you in owls and birds of prey, so they’re only entertaining when they twist their heads,” adds Ruurd. “I believe that only spoonbills are more attractive when they display their large bill with yellow patches and tufted head.” From a photographic standpoint, he argues, frontal shots enable the photographer to create unexpected compositions.