Photographing a Black Bird on White Snow


f6 1/160 ISO 800

Black and White the Ultimate Contrast

Not a black and white photo, but a black bird on white snow. The crow has other colors in its feathers, but without the sun shining on it, the feathers read mostly black with a tinge of blue. I did not know crows eat seed or fruit like was in my feeder mix.

Usually I don’t get crows in the garden. They hang out in the Norway Maples out front along the street. My cockatoo and the crows have some lively conversation during the summer. I can only imagine the “fowl” language going back and forth.


f6 1/160 ISO 800

I am not sure why I decided to shoot the crows, but getting a good exposure was not an easy task. I tried a few different camera settings to get these photos.


f6.3 1/160 ISO 800

I have shot crows in flight before against a blue sky, but never on snow.

Or a White Bird with Black Accents


Gulls on snow or a bald sky are prettier than you might think.


The gulls below are by the river off a sandy beach. That is crusty ice at the edge. I just liked the low flyby.


f8 1/1250 ISO 800

Winter Songbirds and those you wish were not.


dark-eyed-junco starlings1-24-14

Everything seems to look better in the snow!

This entry was posted in Birds, Nature, Photography, Photos, wildlife and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Photographing a Black Bird on White Snow

  1. neihtn2012 says:

    Black crows on white snow: that is a fantastic idea to start the new year. The other photos are just as good and original.

  2. A wonderful series of photos Donna! I agree that gulls are pretty upon closer inspection. I enjoyed photographing them on the Lake Michigan beaches when I visited there in the summers. We rarely get snow in Georgia so the opportunity doesn’t present itself often but when it does I definitely get out with the camera.

  3. You took a challenge and made it look great!

  4. David says:

    Excellent job of getting the detail in the black crows without blowing the whites. I just cant imagine doing that myself. I really like the second gull shot with the over the shoulder angel, they way the bird’s puffed up feathers tend to reduce the body and head to two globes supported on sticks, the fact that there is enough snow detail at the feet to describe the environment, and enough color pop to make an otherwise monochrome scene interesting to me. As I said, I like it.

  5. Hillechien says:

    Beautiful contrasts

  6. aussiebirder says:

    Yes Donna, Beautiful contrasts! Though we do not have the snow to contrast with here, you have shown how the snow can add a dimension to one’s photos. Interesting fact about crows and ravens is that they are considered one of the most intelligent birds and can adapt themselves very well in all aspects, thus they survive and multiply very well in all environments. They will eat practically anything. They use to raid my compost heap each morning and fight over rotting garbage, making a great racket. Your gulls are similar to our Silvers but quite different beak and head markings. Thanks for sharing Donna.

    • donna213 says:

      Thanks Ashley. It is interesting how they are so intelligent. That is probably what my cockatoo and the crow were arguing about, “Who’s smarter.”

  7. Emily Scott says:

    Love these – and great ‘fowl language’ pun too!

  8. It always confused me that when shooting snow you would let more light in or go up a stop but it works. These are well done! Great detail on the crow’s feathers, will get a chance to practise soon.That is a great shot of the gull from behind with the portrait and detail in the feathers. Like the fly-by as well, did you do some panning here? The birds are so cute when they puff up to stay warm.and I know starlings have earned their bad rep but this has such nice tones.Enjoyed your post!

  9. Tiny says:

    Great series of beautiful shots!

  10. Great crows photos. Crows and ravens and corvids in general are (arguably) my favorite birds.

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