Woodstork Portraits – Black and White


While I have been a bit stalled working on images since, yes, the other Woodstork image, I haven’t seemed quite finished wanting to work with their portraits from that shoot. These are the same bird as the previous post just different shots and different treatments. The upper image has a harsher light and I utilized a textured grungy background to enhance the sense of portraiture rather than documentation. The image below is softer in its black and white treatment with no added texture to the out of focus background. I liked the inquisitive,thoughtful expression and was fond of the catch lights in its eye. I often will work around a single detail I like, such as the eye expression, much the same way I might wrap a poem around a favourite line. That penchant probably does stunt open creativity because loving one thing does not necessarily redeem the whole.

Some people wonder why I like these bald birds, but I just do think they have such presence and refuse to be relegated entirely to the unseen shadows of the swamp.

Long attracted to monotone and grungy bird portraits I have posted others here in the past. You could examine these other two species from the past by clicking on the bird: Tri-Color Fledgling High Key Portrait or Juvenile Louisiana (Tri-color) Heron and Great Blue Heron (Plume Shadows).




Forgive my repetition, but hope you enjoy the efforts. For me it beats watching the news to see if Dorian is going to come here or further up the state come Sunday!!  Wishing everyone in the storm’s path a safe passage through the wind and rain.




~ by Judy on August 29, 2019.

20 Responses to “Woodstork Portraits – Black and White”

  1. I love these birds, so prehistoric-looking, yet they could so easily have been lifted out of a horror/fantasy movie. The B&W treatment reinforces this notion. 🙂

    • They really are primitive looking but with not so primitive expressions!! So many interesting birds around the world, even more strange. Would love to see them. I saw a portrait of a California Condor somewhere…and I would love to take a picture of one of those!! Cool bird!

    • The prehistoric look is probably why I like turkeys. And, Judy, not to get you jealous, but they were breeding California condors at a predator refuge in Boise when I was there a few years ago.

  2. I do love these birds, and both of these treatments appeal. I do think I favor the portraiture, but both images give such a strong sense of the bird’s character. It’s easy to read things into their expression that may or may not be there, but their alertness, inquisitiveness, and tolerance of having other species around can’t be questioned.

    I was pleased to see the ambivalence of the forecasters this morning. It’s nerve-wracking to follow these storms when their character is “undecided,” but a turn to the north sooner rather than later would be good. You’ve been in my thoughts, believe me. Of course, my friends in Charleston may need to start getting nervous if that sooner turn takes place, but with luck this thing will provide some happy surprises.

    With this long weekend, I’m going to make a couple of early morning trips to see what I can see. I so wish the heat would break, but that’s not going to happen for a couple of weeks, so there’s no use whining. Maybe the wood storks still will be around!

    • Yeah, I too look forward to a break in the heat and to leave the 2019 hurricane season behind with no more threatening events. Its always great not to have to watch the tropics so carefully!!

  3. I love the black-and-white photos of the Woodstork!  My heart and prayers are for all in the path of Hurricane Dorian. Be safe.

    • Thank you, Maggie, for the kind words on the birds and wishes for safety. We here in Florida certainly have much to be grateful for with Dorian not giving us a direct hit. So close and yet the storm was carried away in another direction. Very grateful.

  4. Your black-and-white work with these wonderful subjects is awesome!

    I think when we’re fortunate enough to observe nature, our own interpretations of those observations is almost moot. A Wood Stork, to me, epitomizes what is meant by “nature’s beauty”. By any human measure, this is not a “glamorous” bird! But to see one hunting in the shallow water of a cypress swamp or feeding a chick in the nest – THAT is true beauty!

    It’s the experience that has us in awe. Whether we translate that by photography or painting or sculpture or simply telling a grandchild about what we saw – our memory of the event has enriched us.

    Thank you, Judy, for enriching those of us fortunate enough to have clicked on your website!

    • That is the nicest compliment and I thank you for that!!! I am in agreement that it is the experience that enriches us. Interpretation is our attempt give meaning whether it be shape, shadow, or form. But, I must say that when I am an observer without my camera, it is so hard to just be happy capturing only the memory. I just feel powerless and as if I have nothing to do. So it is a discipline for me to remember the setting, the action, the colors, the smells and the way the wind felt without having the images to remind and recapture.

      Telling the grandchild is great because it is an opportunity to find the right words to describe the beauty and the peace it gave and how things were through your eyes. Then they will find their words too.

  5. Stunning photos!

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