Crows captured on at the Berry Head nature reserve

Crows captured on at the Berry Head nature reserve
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Contest Finalist in Wings in Motion Photo Contest
Peer Award
Plumauvent Fotolinet the_igloo McHarr rseago EmilySight yllarlehtsalu +3
Superb Composition
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Top Choice
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All Star
Outstanding Creativity

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5 Comments | Report
Byrdgrl December 14, 2015
Simply stunning!
Byrdgrl December 14, 2015
karyneaston March 12, 2016
Join the conversation. Add a comment or even better, a critique.
karyneaston April 17, 2017
Thank you so much :-)
jamiesarkett May 18, 2017
Congrats - gorgeous !!!!

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Behind The Lens

This photograph was taken at the Berry Head Nature reserve on the outskirts of Brixham in Devon in the UK. The Berry Head is known locally as a great place to go walking but as a photographer it poses a challenge as the landscape is normally quite flat and bland, until you reach the cliff edges which afford the most amazing views out to sea.
It was an unusual day in terms of lighting. The time was around 2.30pm on a very fresh wintery afternoon. One minute the sun was shining and the next, dark clouds were plunging the scene into virtual darkness.
The light on the day was actually quite spectacular. The light from the sun was glinting through the clouds and hitting the rocky edges of the cliff and just gently highlighting the edges of the stones. If you look closely at the wing of the bird in flight you can see how one of his wings has just been highlighted in beautiful light. The birds as they were swooping were almost back lit by the sun which added to the dramatic and atmospheric look of the image.
I used my Nikon D5300 with my 55mm to 200mm kit lens, which was ideal for getting close to the birds, but not so close as to disturb them. I used f7.1 so that a fair proportion of my scene was in focus but I could still achieve a fast shutter speed. The exposure was 10/12500 with a focal length of 2000/10. I also like to keep my ISO low and for this shot I used a 200 setting. I didn't need to use a flash or tripod on this occasion.
The Berry Head nature reserve is quite a bland flat landscape, so I was really taken with the way that the birds were diving off the cliff edge. In many respects in winter the landscape on Berry Head is quite bleak, but the birds were a welcome distraction from what otherwise would have been quite a boring landscape.
On the whole this shot was pretty much straight out of the camera. However I did use a little dodging and burning in Photoshop, in order to enhance the light and dark areas of the clouds. Other than a few minor tweaks the scene in this image is pretty much as it was on the day.
In my camera bag
Normally I would take out my 18mm-55mm and 55mm-200mm Nikon kit lenses. However since I discovered my Nikon 50mm f1.8 prime lens I have never looked back. This lens along with my new Sigma Macro 105mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM prime lens are now my new go to lenses. Although my old Nikon kit lenses have served me very well, I love the wider apertures and tack sharpness that my Nikon and Sigma prime lenses delver.
I live by one of my quotes which is 'always expect the unexpected' and take out your camera. It's normally those days that you think that you won't capture anything that the best images are created. This is how I was able to take this shot; which was one that I never dreamed that I would have captured.

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