If I have a favorite bird species I would have to say it's Ravens. I'm fascinated by their intelligence, their long association with humans and other predators, and the zen design of their color ensemble of black, black, and black. They are also one of my photographic nemeses. I have tried to make good images of Ravens for many years. They have successfully thwarted 99.9% of those efforts and probably laughed on many occasion as they flew off just before the shutter was fired or just as I pulled up at a location I had been tipped off about.
Two other photographers have not been as frustrated.
Last winter Charlotte and I attended the Winter Wings Festival in Klamath Falls, OR. The indoor highlight of the trip was seeing the work of and meeting southern Oregon photographer Dan Elster. I was really taken by most of his work because it didn't look like 95% of all the other bird and wildlife photography we all see all the time. In fact we were so struck by one of his images of a pair of Ravens (the photograph above) that we bought it and it has become the only photograph, other than my own, that hangs on our living room wall. He's got other images of Ravens and other birds and wildlife at his website:
The second photographer in this post to have had "success" with Ravens here on the west coast is northern California photographer Beth Moon.
Over a period of about three years she met and came to know a pair of Ravens along the CA coast and make a collection of profound images. She has selected the best and included them in a compilation called "Odin's Cove". Her artist's statement about the exhibit says that she came to name the cove she visited after the Norse god Odin because legend has it that Odin had two Ravens that would go forth each day and gather "intel" about what was going on in the world of men and then report back.
You can see small versions of her photographs at her website or at the sites of a couple of galleries including:
Her portfolio of these images also is included in the 102nd edition of LenWork which I talked about in the last blog post.
If you're interested in big black smart birds have a look at the work of these photographers.
***The above images are owned by the photographers: me, Dan Elster, and Beth Moon and are used here under Fair Use for informational purposes only.***