Macaws, Bolivia

Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

It’s the colors in this abstract photograph that allow us to recognize the birds in flight as macaws. Because macaws have such bright and distinctive colors, photographer Joel Sartore was able to create a successful abstract image, one in which birds of quieter hues would have disappeared. —Annie Griffiths

Photo Tip: Distinct colors can help the viewer recognize objects in an abstract view. When presented with this advantage, the photographer has more leeway to be creative with time exposures and motion while still allowing the subject to read.

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