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Thread: Black-billed Magpie

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    Default Black-billed Magpie

    It's tough to get a decent shot of these: bright white and pure black on the same bird, so I'm happy with this one. The perch really makes the picture, IMO --and the bokeh, which is great on this lens. in our area, Magpies are very skittish, flying off just as soon as a vehicle slows down. This one is a juvenile, so still learning, and gave me a few seconds to get off a shot.
    ~Ken

    E-5, 300/2.8 & 2X tc, ISO 400, F 5, 1/800", hand-held, cropped.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    "so I'm happy with this one"

    You should be!
    Well done all around Ken!
    David

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    Nice, Ken.
    I run into the black and white thing all the time with sea birds. Can really be tough sometimes. The light doesn't look too harsh, and that can be a big help.
    I grew up with Magpies all over the place, but for the life of me, I can't remember if they had any blue on their backs. Saw this guy in a field in Sweden this summer. There were a few around, and they all had blue on their backs.

    click

    He was a good bit away and it was hot. E-M1 on my 600mm scope.

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    Thank you, David.
    Thanks, Daniel. They all have blue --at a certain angle, that is; i.e. the feathers on the back are iridescent. In the right light, they can appear bright blue, as in your photo; other angles look pure black. You would know that they are really smart birds, as are others in the crow-raven-jay family.
    ~Ken

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    I always liked them. My dad called them camp robbers because they were so clever in stealing food when we went camping. Used to piss him off! We would lure them closer when he wasn't looking.
    My sister called them Mugwumps because when they sat on a fence, they had their mug on one side and their wump on the other.

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    A very nice image Ken, and I especially like the diagonal composure.
    Cheers,
    Don

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Bradley View Post
    I always liked them. My dad called them camp robbers because they were so clever in stealing food when we went camping. Used to piss him off! We would lure them closer when he wasn't looking.
    Daniel, Sounds like you had some good experiences camping as a kid; more kids should have that.

    Thanks, Don. I surely agree that angles/diagonals usually add something to a pic.
    ~Ken

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    Ken,

    I've really enjoyed seeing your bird photos but this is really nice with details in both the dark and white areas of the bird. Very well done!
    John B

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    Some of my fondest memories to be sure! We used to go on white water river trips on things line the Middle Fork and the Main Fork of the Salmon river, or on the Green and Yampa rivers, 10 days and not see a single soul! Just miles and miles of untouched wilderness. Now you have to book the campgrounds years in advance! We used to camp on the shore of a remote corner of Jackson Lake, and maybe see a small motor boat off in the distance every once in a while. Now it is called Colter Bay Village. Check it out on Google Maps....
    The one trip I missed out on and regret to this day, was the chance to see Glen Canyon before the dam went in. Have a look at Eliot Porter's "The Place No One Knew". His work was really inspiring to me as a kid.

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    John, I'm glad you are finding the bird photos to be of interest. Many thanks for the meaningful comment!
    ~Ken

    Daniel, I did look up Colter Bay Village: dramatic change, for sure, and much like what is happening in most of the world. Not much genuine nature left. Eliot Porter's work was/is quite amazing. Thanks for the Glen Canyon reference. I have a couple volumes that employ Porter's photos; they illustrate one edition of Peter Mathiessen's fine book on East Africa, The Tree Where Man Was Born. And I would guess you know of Porter's great work with photos that accompany/illustrate various quotes from Thoreau: In Wildness is the Preservation of the World, a real classic.
    ~Ken

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    That is a cool image Ken! Great capture!!!!
    Mike


    I have color vision deficiency so let me know if I screw it up...

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    Ken,
    My contact with Elliot Porter came about thus:
    His son went to the same high school as I did, the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, Colorado. Very interesting place. I graduated in 1963, so it was still very much in the early stages of growth. Very small and tightly knit. Anyway... he came up one spring and gave us a slide show of, among other wonderful images, Glen Canyon. I think I was 18 at the time and had already been fairly heavily into photography for four years. So you can imagine the effect of seeing such images projected onto a nice big silver screen! Print can't even come close!
    I had a short chat with him afterwards to express my appreciation. He was very quiet and unassuming, very modest and obviously awed by the beauty of the places he had been and the things he had seen. You got the feeling that he was saying, "it is all there...you just have to see it."
    I have felt right from the beginning that photography can teach one how to look at things and become aware of things that would normally go unnoticed. E.P. was a prime example of that. He was a true observer with a keen artistic sense.
    I think I have seen In Wildness is the Preservation of the World, but it was a while ago and I can't really remember much. Never heard of The Tree Where Man Was Born. Have to check hat out. Thanks!

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    Default Re: Black-billed Magpie

    Mike, Glad you like the shot. Thanks!

    Daniel,
    Even had you not known Porter, I'm sure you would greatly enjoy those two books, and, since you met him and were inspired by his work, they would be special, indeed. In Wildness... I have a paperback (don't know if it ever was in hard-cover). Each page of the Thoreau quotes alternates with a Porter photograph, beautifully printed on glossy paper. The Mathiessen book has had a number of printings in paperback with his text alone, but the one adding the photos is a large hard-cover. Excellent.
    ~Ken

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