When the light is really soft and even, the patterns and subtle colours in their feathers, the scratches that tell stories in their beaks and their intelligent eyes provide great material to work with. These images are from a little shoot with a curious couple who spend their time at one viewpoint pullout along the Icefields Parkway in the Jasper National Park. On this day, the clouds were hanging low in the valley and heavily diffused the sunlight so that even the darkest shadows were only a muted grey. Perfect conditions to photograph these birds around their hangout. I posted one portrait of these birds a couple of days ago and with a little more time now, I enjoyed putting together a few more images for this entry.
The snow fell intermittently and provided another element to work with. What had already fallen to the ground over the past week created clean backgrounds and when coupled with wide apertures allowed the ravens to stand out with a nice dimensionality.
The camera I photographed with here, the Canon 5D Mark III has a slight bluish colour cast at higher ISO settings. These are easily removed in any photo editing software but I really liked the iridescent quality in the image above.
Drawing closer in, the lines drawn by the feathers around the face and neck create really great patterns that go unseen when ravens are usually seen given the dark colours.
Almost every marsh or pond in the Foothills with cattails or some form of brush on the water’s edge is attended by one or more mating pairs of Red-winged Blackbird now. They have returned from their winter south or west of Alberta over the past couple of weeks and are now setting up for the kids. I love the energy that is growing now that spring is truly underway (in May, I know…)
This fellow flew within a few dozen yards to check me out. He may have just thought that the tripod and long lens was overkill for his little pond but he hopped along the bullrushes nearby and then flew across the water to where I could see his mate was perched.