Black and White

Co-existence of black and white
Evidenced in the depth of night
Realize the power of the sky
Black and white together lie
Kaleidoscope of many colors
Mixing without harming others
Crossing paths one and all
In equality they stand tall

I stumbled upto these lyrics from ‘Black Beauty, White Heat’ by a German ’80s band Die Krupps and they say it well about the contradiction and purity of Black and White.

When it comes to birds, I have found that the ones that are a combination of black and white are difficult to photograph well. In normal daylight, if you focus on getting the details in the blacks, you run the risk of ruining the whites. And if you try and avoid that and focus on retaining details in the white, then you end up losing details in the blacks. Hobson’s choice really, and one must wait for some external help (shade, sun getting behind a cloud, etc) to get the best outcome.

The Little Forktail is quite a small bird ~ 12 cms or so. When we saw it at the river/stream at Mandal, there was no way I was going to be satisfied with an image from 20 meters above the rocks. So I found a way to climb down, jump over the big rocks  and go after the bird and get some images worthy of the bird. The sun hiding behind the clouds and the shade of the trees made the work a bit easier.

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Little Forktail, 19 Nov ’16, Nikon D500 | 600 f/4 + 1.4 TCIII | ISO 1600 | f/8 | 1/250

The Collared Blackbird was another such black-and-white bird and my first few images in direct sunlight (must have been around noon and the light was harsh) were all crap. But when the bird decided to move under the shade of the trees, it was as if he was inviting us to take some portraits.

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Collared Blackbird, 18 Nov ’16, Nikon D500 | 600 f/4 | f/5.6 | EV +2/3 | ISO 800 | 1/100

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