ARCHIVE 586 – CROW, IN WILD SKY

 

 


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Carrion Crow over our back garden, not long after dawn; 27 Nov 2011.

I very much like the limited palette of colours but – as is so often the case – I prefer this version to monochrome.  The crow – which looks for all the world like a Photoshop insert! – is purposely positioned away from any of the composition’s visual strong points, but with space ahead to fly into.  Actually quite a reasonably sized bird, it looks so small here against the vast sky and very solid looking clouds:  this is intentional.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day. 

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 200mm; 800 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 394 – CARRION CROW (MONO)

 

 


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Carrion Crow over our back garden, not long after dawn; 27 Nov 2011.

This has been converted into mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, and I’ve used the one of the Film Noire presets to instil drama – the powerful, jet black crow diving through a patch of clear sky in an angry, boiling cloudscape.

Technique: D700 with 70mm-300 Nikkor lens at 200mm; 800 ISO.

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STILL LIFE 203 – CARRION CROW

 

 


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Carrion Crow at sunrise.

A Minimal image, mostly featureless black or gold, with just a single horizontal band of silhouetted detail.  The fence post is not vertical, the fence’s wire is barbed, and the bird’s head is seen in profile: for me, these points add something.  Do you agree?

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click on that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley; 6 Nov 2017.
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ARCHIVE 299 – CROW SCARING STARLINGS (MONO)

 

 

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Starlings are flustered and scattered as a Carrion Crow flies in amongst them; Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 1 Nov 2013.

There is another image from these moments here.

Technique: D800 with 80-400 Nikkor lens at 400mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro’s High Structure Harsh preset.

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ARCHIVE 294 – CROW ON A FALLEN TREE (MONO)

 

 


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Carrion Crow perched in a fallen tree; Tadham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 31 Mar 2014.

Early in the day, I pulled bleary eyed into the Magic Carpark, stumbled out of the car – and saw this crow.  Praying that it wouldn’t move, and all fingers and thumbs, I readied the camera, turned and – it was still there!  In fact it stayed there for sometime.

The tree is a casualty of the recent severe flooding.  It was probably not standing vertically before, but then its roots had been able to find sufficient purchase in the soil.  But, saturate that soil with floodwater for many weeks and turn it into something like blancmange or wet rice pudding, and the roots were simply not up to the task of keeping the great bulk of trunk and branches above them upright.

I went for a pure silhouette, with the sky completely burnt out, for simplicity – a Minimalist approach.  To me, the few branches entering the frame at upper right serve to balance the composition.  The adding of a blue tone takes the scene further away from reality.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Classic Portrait preset, and adding a Cyanotype tone.
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ARCHIVE 239 – CARRION CROW (MONO)

 

 

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Carrion Crow over our back garden, not long after dawn; 27 Nov 2011.

A very different shot from the first version (Birds 8, here ), another frame of the same bird in fact.  This one has been converted into mono in Silver Efex Pro 2, and I’ve used the one of the Film Noire presets to instil drama – the powerful, jet black crow diving through a patch of clear sky in an angry, boiling cloudscape.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 200mm; 800 ISO.

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ARCHIVE 203 – CROW, IN WILD SKY

 

 

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Carrion Crow over our back garden, not long after dawn; 27 Nov 2011.

I very much like the limited palette of colours but – as is so often the case – I prefer this version to monochrome.  The crow – which looks for all the world like a Photoshop insert! – is purposely positioned away from any of the composition’s visual strong points, but with space ahead to fly into.  Actually quite a reasonably sized bird, it looks so small here against the vast sky and very solid looking clouds:  this is intentional.

Nikon D700 with 70mm-300mm VR Nikkor at 200mm; 800 ISO.

UPDATE: as with the previous archive post , a picture of a bird – and of course I’m biased, having been a really enthusiastic birder from 1967 to 2002 or so – and still retaining a very deep place in my heart for “Our Feathered Friends” right now.  I like the previous post because it is a somewhat intimate portrait of a wild creature – it is a close up look, there is eye contact.  The photo here is also a portrait, but of a quite different type.  For here we see very few details of the individual itself, but what we do see is this creature in its wild element – a small thing soaring gracefully in a vast, wild and angry sky – in its wild and angry element – and quite at home, amply at home, in that element.

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BIRDS 77 – CARRION CROW

 

 

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Carrion Crow around the cliffs west of West Bay, Dorset; 21 April 2015.

A large, intelligent and opportunistic killer and scavenger, widespread in pairs across Britain – and as much at home around these wild crags as in the soft and leafy suburbs of Bristol.

And the rocks?  These are the honey-coloured cliffs of Dorset’s renowned Jurassic Coast – beautiful certainly, but with a dangerous beauty all the same, for these fossil-filled rocks are very loose and prone to collapse – no one climbs here, this natural beauty is best admired from a distance. 

Click onto the image to see a larger version in a separate window.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 200 – CROW OVER STUBBLE FIELD (MONO)

 

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Carrion Crow taking off from a field of stubble on Westhay Moor; 27 Nov 2014.

I have a great liking for crows in general.  They are large, noisy and very successful opportunists, and to have one here standing on my desk – or perched on my shoulder – as I compose this post would certainly be one of Life’s good experiences.

Driving on Westhay Moor, I came upon a great field of stubble, with a black crow standing alone in it.  The crow was quite far off, I had a big telephoto ready on the seat beside me, I could visualise a picture of this black bird amongst the pale stubble, the car window was already down, and I brought the car very quietly to a gentle halt.

But despite all of these things I underestimated my dear darling and, even at that substantial range, as soon as I’d stopped the car, he started waddling uneasily away and, as I raised the lens – which he may well have thought a shotgun barrel – he started hopping away and, before I could say knife, he was airborne.

Loud expletives filled the car but, remembering my camera’s good autofocus and up for the challenge, I started firing, panning the camera to keep up with this fleeing being.

And what have I ended up with?  Well, pin sharp it isn’t, although the wingtip feathers could be far more blurred, but its the bird silhouetted – with its feet still dangling from having just leapt up into the air.  Its flying just above the pale lines of stubble (which tend to bewilder my eyes when I look at them), and there are a pale gate and darker flanking fences in the backdrop, and a hint of trees further back again.  Its an impression of the scene and I like the effect, and so its presented here.

And this is my 200th post from the Somerset Levels, a part of England that I love very much, and I feel good about that.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 800 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset.
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ARCHIVE 99 – CARRION CROW, LEAVING THE FRAME

 

 

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Carrion Crow over our back garden, not long after dawn, in Bristol; 27 Nov 2011.

Two things to say about this.  First, the large dark cloud coming in from the left hand margin is quite an important feature in this picture, and if you follow the line of its slightly downcurved snout, you are almost following the line of the bird’s flight.

Second – the bird is sited where “rules” say it shouldn’t be, right down in the bottom of the frame, and about to exit the frame unless we reach out to superhumanly drag it back.

What do I like about this picture?  I certainly like the pale orange clouds, and I find that my eyes keep moving between these clouds and the bird, which is probably a good thing.  And although the bird is purposely sited “wrongly”, I think being positioned where it is – just about to exit the frame – emphasises its unimportance and miniscule size in relation to the vast reaches of the sky and clouds. 

But these vast reaches of the heavens are the bird’s element.  It doesn’t often feed in the air, but it does use these vast reaches of sky to patrol large areas, looking for food on the ground – and it is very much at home in these sometimes stormy skyscapes.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 200mm; 800 ISO.

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