Common Raven in an Open Field

Will wonders never cease? The weather forecasters; who are usually way off on their predictions, were right yesterday. They called for partly cloudy weather and that is what happened. Of course when there were no birds the sky overhead was clear and when there were birds the hulking clouds blocked out most of the light. Maybe they used a Ouija board for the forecast yesterday instead of weather radars and other scientific information.

So, when there were clouds (and not much light) I came across this Common Raven (Corvus corax) perched on a small rock in an open field that had been feeding on roadkill on the shoulder of the road.

Common Raven fluffed upCommon Raven fluffed up – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/250, ISO 400, 0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 350mm, natural light, not baited

I grumbled about the low light earlier but it actually worked in my favor because I was able to bring out nice details in the Raven’s plumage and even got a hint of the blue sheen on some of the feathers and according to the histogram none of the blacks are blocked up.  In brighter light there may have been blocked up blacks in the shadows.

Common Raven Histogram

Common Raven Histogram

I could lighten the Raven up because the histogram shows that I am nowhere near blowing out the whites but I don’t want to increase exposure if it will add unwanted noise and that can happen easily with blacks and other dark colors.

Common Raven starting to callCommon Raven on a rock in an open field – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 350mm, natural light, not baited

This Raven acted like it was going to expel a pellet for about a minute and I hoped to capture images of that but the bird must have decided it wasn’t time yet and flew off.

In Christian tradition Ravens are considered birds that herald death, evil, warfare or ill omens. I prefer to think of them as intelligent, playful and mischievous tricksters.



  1. Scott (@NESASK) May 25, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Great shots, Mia! Love the character, especially in the first shot.

    • Mia McPherson May 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Scott, thanks for your comment, I liked that the Raven gave me several poses before it flew off.

  2. Susan May 25, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Love Ravens, you captured him/her perfectly. Gorgeous photos!

    • Mia McPherson May 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks Susan, I love Ravens too.

  3. Kathiesbirds May 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Mia, just perfect! what a sight! I love the ruff on its neck and the lighting is JUST perfect! You did such a good job. I must admit you are speaking Greek to me. I need to learn all that stuff you are talking about. I am still adjusting to these digital cameras! I would love to spend a day with you!

    • Mia McPherson May 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Kathie, I’d like to spend a day photographing with you too. Thanks for the wonderful comment on these Raven images.

  4. Syl May 25, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I love the ravens..they very intelligent birds..Indian Lore has them as message well as being called upon by the Medicine Men. Beautiful photos..

    • Mia McPherson May 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      Syl, the native American lore about Ravens is fascinating. Thank you for commenting.

  5. Carol Mattingly May 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

    You had the perfect light to get those details on this gorgeous Raven. Beautiful. Carol

    • Mia McPherson May 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you Carol, the light did work out well. I love Ravens.

  6. Bob Zeller May 25, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Great photos of a very difficult bird to photograph, Mia.

    • Mia McPherson May 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks Bob, they are a challenge!

Comments are closed.