Rook preening on a street lamp in the main street of Penzance, Cornwall; 25 Apr 2012.

Awhile back I posted a favourite picture of mine, which a view inside the Victoria Tea Room, in Penzance – find it here .  This tea room is on two floors, and we always like to sit at the tables by the windows upstairs, where there is a very interesting and lively view over Penzance’s main street.

I’d not long taken the picture of the green furniture and the cup and saucer, when two Rooks perched on the street lamp brackets immediately outside the window.  I had a feeling they wouldn’t stay there long, and so rather than reaching for the Nikon, I used the little G11 which was already in my hand.  One of the Rooks left almost immediately but I managed to train the Canon’s telephoto onto the other bird which, despite all of the hustle and bustle in the street below, started preening.

And here it is.  I’ve increased contrast and structure to bring out more detail in its plumage.  And I particularly like the picture of the woman below the bird, which is an advert in a shop window on the other side of the street.  This advert looks better in colour – increasing the perception of a mainly rural bird in a town centre – but I think mono best for the bird.

Canon G11 PowerShot at 140mm (equivalent); 400 ISO ; converted to mono and further manipulated in Silver Efex Pro 2.


  1. This is a wonderful shot of the rook, and the poster below is a great piece of serendipity. I probably would have used considerably less burning around the edges, but it does draw the eye into the central subjects. Great, for a fast capture!


    • Thanks, Helen! – yes, his beady eye – he’s probably thinking something along the lines of “Who’s that fat git in the window?” and he has every right to enquire! Adrian


  2. I agree, mono for the bird (but then I agree to mono for everything…) Color might have been too distracting.

    At first I read the title as “…in Penance” — and I thought, “Ha! A penitent crow? Fat chance.”


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