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Eight Black Birds

Updated: Aug 31, 2022


As you look at this photo:

  1. Where do your eyes go?

  2. Does it conjure up emotions within you?

  3. Do you linger in the photos (and where) or just move on?

Rest of the story behind the photo.

I was attending a photography workshop about long exposure and high dynamic range techniques on the Outer Banks (OBX), North Carolina.  Fog had engulfed the area, we’d just finished our initial shoot of the sunrise at Avalon pier, and had stopped to pick up some coffee before heading to the next shoot location.

As I left the store – heading to our car – I noticed these black birds sitting on the white picket fence with the fog behind them.  The contrast of black on white, repetition, and linearity really captured my eye. I knew I needed to get a picture of this.

The haze of the fog along with the subdued and muted lighting, plus these birds and the picket fence just popped out at me.  The birds were lined up as if queued to enter the store, too. Each perched on its own post as if waiting to be the next one to enter the store.

So I grabbed my camera out of the car, adjusted its settings and proceeded to “sneak” up on the birds with out startling or taking notice of me.  I took several shots while slowly advancing closer and closer to them as I continuously adjusted the composition.

To me there was something about how each bird had its own post, yet could just as well have come from a corresponding background house or lot.  The power lines, alignment of houses and birds, the pickets, and the placement of the stop sign worked for me and I know I had captured the image just as I had internalized it when the moment caught my eye.


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