Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

September 26, 2010

Raven on a Stick

Filed under: behavior, Birds, Bosque del Apache, composition, favorite places — richditch @ 7:42 pm
Common Raven

Common Raven

Most people only see ravens as “large black birds” flying past, or perhaps playing aerial tag with other ravens or with eagles or red-tails. If you are lucky enough to visit the Grand Canyon on the northern edge of Arizona and can tear your eyes away from the “Golly Gultch” for a while you can watch the ravens ride the updrafts and put on an incredible show.

I was fortunate that this Common Raven decided to perch close to the Marsh Loop at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. It was a thrill to shoot this bird at close distance right from my car window with the lens resting on a foam strip along the top of the window glass.

This was probably my sixth consecutive winter visit to Bosque del Apache, and my first with a digital camera. I had only had my Nikon D70 for about one month and was still getting a feel for the camera and for digital. It was December 25, 2004. If I had such an opportunity today I’d have taken a lot more shots than I did on this visit (I only had 2.5GB of compact flash memory cards for my D70), and I’d have definitely increased my ISO to give a higher shutter speed. I might even have tried some fill flash to open up the shadows on the dark plumage a bit.

Composition is about as basic as it gets: a stationary bird in profile on a single textured perch against a plain monochrome background.

Nikon D70, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S plus TC20E (2x), ISO 200, 1/160th second @ f/11, braced on car window.


1 Comment »

  1. Rich,

    As I said on NPN I am envious of your Raven image. They are a nemesis bird for me, always just out of my reach, skittish & smart. This is simple but very appealing. Your usual fines techs.

    Comment by Mia — October 2, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

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