Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crows, Crows, Crows

One of the interesting things I have found in living here in Cortland in the fall are the crows. I have never in my life seen flocks of crows like those that roost in the trees behind my house. The picture above shows just a small group of them doing what they do during the day, go into the fields around town to eat their fill. At night, as the Sun begins to set they come back into town. They roost in the trees around our house as this is one of the warmest places for them in town. It is in a small sheltered valley and near the downtown where there are a number of businesses and parking lots that keep things just a bit warmer.

Now I have seen flocks of birds before but nothing has prepared me for this. The trees are fully of hundreds if not thousands of crows. I am not exaggerating. This has been such a big problem that the city is starting to implement sounds deterrence measures to try to get them to leave. When the flock comes in, it is an amazing sight. They have been so loud some mornings that they have woken us up. It is crazy.

I guess it is just one of those things that you have to find out about by living in a place.

Oh, one thing about this image is that it is a high dynamic range image but it is not my usual three separate exposures combined into one image. This is actually one RAW image that was adjusted three times to give me the base, and then over and under exposed images. This allowed me to keep the birds (they were moving fast and three separate images would simply have not worked for them) and still allowed me to pull a lot of extra detail out. Anyway, something new for me to play around with. I need to get Noise Ninja or something but not bad.

Thanks for stopping by.


Anita Jesse said...

Very effective photo. I am a sucker for these grand sweeping landscapes including flocks of birds.

Combining different exposures of the same raw file is the only kind of high dynamic range technique that I have explored so far. It's pretty straightforward.

Beau A.C. Harbin said...

Thanks Anita. You know it is funny that even though combining the same image three times is very easy and straight forward, I had not really thought about it until this one. With the dynamic range available in RAW images, this is something that is getting easier to do. What this also gets me thinking about it taking my 3 image bracket and extending the dynamic range further with the two +/- exposure images. So instead of +/- 1 1/3, I would push this to be something like 5 images, normal exposure, + 1 1/3, + 2 1/3 (or so), - 1 1/3, - 2 1/3. Might yield even more interesting results. We'll see.

Anita Jesse said...

Shooting RAW is definitely worth the few extra minutes, in my opinion. The flexibility it provides in processing is pretty amazing.

The extended range should put you into some very interesting territory. I look forward to seeing your experiments.