Walking in the early morning of New Year’s Day in south Bristol, and being suddenly delighted by a storm of black bodies and whirling wings close overhead. They were Jackdaws, small crows, and this large group had recently emerged from a communal roost where they’d spent the long winter night and – garrulous, sociable, busy, noisy – they were off around Bristol’s rooftops in search of the day’s first meal. They landed on the roof of a nearby factory but, active as they were, I knew that they’d soon be aloft again in a noisy, wheeling black cloud.


LOL!!! >>> and so to one of photography’s great sayings >>> that the best camera for the job is the one you have with you >>> and so, from my pocket, I produced something really totally unsuitable for the job ahead, the only camera I was carrying, the Olympus TOUGH TG-5.



But the birds were on the move again even quicker than I’d anticipated, and any “photographic technique” on my part was reduced to managing to get the zoom to it longest length (100mm equivalent), pointing the little camera at the whirling flock and firing five quick, single frames.  The camera was set for spot metering, thankfully at 3200 ISO, but on this dark morning that still only gave me 1/30 second at f4.9.

I’m also a great believer in “any picture is better than no picture at all”, and in this case the slow shutter speed blurred the flailing wings to give a real sense of movement – and so to high contrast black and white processing in Lightroom and something of an impressionistic result.

About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

9 Responses to BIRDS 124 – JACKDAW (MONO)

  1. bluebrightly says:

    I like these – I often enjoy blurred bird pictures. The camera that was unsuitable for a certain type of bird photo turned out to be quite suitable for conveying the moment. Your words are, too!


  2. Meanderer says:

    I love the first image – my absolute favourite! It looks like a charcoal drawing – feels a little oriental.

    Saw a mini-murmuration of starlings a few days ago whilst in the car travelling back from town. Didn’t have my camera with me but I wouldn’t have been quick enough anyway, I think 🙂


  3. Love the blur!! Amazing stuff, bud. (But all that camera talk has me baffled.😖)


  4. All this, and yet they say “flight” better than a literal photograph of a bird. I really enjoy all three images.

    Liked by 1 person

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