Fade to Black

There is something rewarding about not only becoming comfortable with a location, but also in pushing new boundaries in a familiar area. I’d been visiting this NWR for several years and its not unusual to come across large flocks of red-winged blackbirds. The ‘norm’ would be to shoot across to the horizon and try and grab a large cluster as they liftoff and fill the frame. However, more can be done. Long(er) exposures for example. Here a different presentation. Backdropped against an overcast sky and targeting the edge of the flock. The image appears to have been converted to black and white but is actually still color (a keen eye can find some red).

The near 50/50 balance renders this more as an abstract image than a literal avian image. Slight creative dodging and burning helps to enhance the visual tug to opposing corners.

Technical Details

Composite: No
1/800; f/8.0, ISO 2000; +2/3 EV; 560mm

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I like your processing on this shot and how it darkens as the subjects are more dense - really draws the eye to look thru the entire scene - well done!

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