Adult Wood Stork – Inquisitive Portrait



Even though I feel the magnificent wood stork has been featured here perhaps a time too many, I played with this one just the same with no plans to post. But every time I encountered that inquisitive expression looking right at me on my big screen and it seemed to say put me up!! Why not!!???

So with all due request for forbearance I give you another wood stork. The original image is color with a blue sky with some clouds. But, the expression seemed like a great pose for an avian portrait so I went for it. I converted the image to a black and white and adjusted the tonal range to my liking and burned the edges a bit. Then just overlaid a nice texture layer mostly in gray tones with some muted purple tones in the upper corners. Then masked out the texture off the bird itself putting instead a low opacity color layer to just tone down the white feathers to go with the background and not be so stark against it. I thought the lighting was very agreeable on the bird and good to work with.

In hopes you enjoy the effort and I promise no more wood storks until next bird season. Hard to believe I am even saying that as I never, when I first starting shooting birds, ever thought I’d have so many opportunities to capture what was once a highly endangered species here in Florida. Here’s to preservation efforts that actually have made a difference.


As Ever,






~ by Judy on November 8, 2019.

9 Responses to “Adult Wood Stork – Inquisitive Portrait”

  1. I do love your wood storks. And this one, he/she has such an imperious expression. The command has been issued; it looks down its beak to ensure it’s been done. Wonderful. 🙂

    • Interesting how expressions will strike different people. I looked at the gaze as inquisitive or curious while you saw the commanding gaze. They are birds with a commanding bearing no matter what.

  2. There never can be too many wood stork photos. Period! I think it’s wonderful that you have so many opportunities to see them. After that one week when they were hanging around here, they disappeared, and I haven’t seen one since. I have to depend on you for my stork fixes!

    I do think the black and white treatment works wonderfully well here. Since black, white, and gray is their color scheme anyway, it seems perfectly natural.

    • Yeah, their natural colorations are pretty black and white but with rosy pink feet with stylish black toenails. The only other color might be yellow tinge to the white feathers and some beige coloration in the forehead plate and flinty neck. Well the bill can look woody too ranging from charcoal to having some yellow and brownish/burgundyish tones in the bill.

      The rookery I go to certainly in the last 4-5 years now has been taken over by wood storks during their season to the point they crowd out some of the other species. It started when there was disruption in the further out islands and nesting spots as they were always around just too far for good pictures. Then I can remember that first March I visited and the woodstorks on the closest island and seemed to be attracting mates and building nests. I really couldn’t believe it. I’d never seen them so close nor had I ever seen a baby wood stork. Ever since they like the closer by spots. Yay for me!!

  3. Black-and-white images of the Wood Stork allow one to concentrate on the character of the subject. The subtle shades of its plumage and the interplay of light and shadow.

    Your treatment in this post elevates the photograph from documentary to artistic.

    For the record, saying “too many wood stork photographs” is akin to saying a dish has “too much garlic”. There is no such thing.

    Have a great week, Judy, and thank you so much for sharing your art!

    • Great comment thanks. Sometimes I take pictures to document but really when I can watch for the poses which I envision a painter would choose to paint and capture those, that is what I love best to do. I am a bit of a feather detail nerd I guess, I just love the colors and textures. I didn’t fully appreciate the work of Audubon actually until I started shooting birds and examining all that feather detail. Then I realized it was just like he painted, he had all the same detail in those wonderful Birds of America plates. Kind of makes my viewfinder a portal to the past when I can see what he saw.

      I am happy that you liked the artistic/portrait interpretation as its always nice to know when something works for people. My husband simply cannot understand why I find these things so interesting. So I realize its not for all. LOL!! I welcome your visits and enjoy your work as well.

  4. I’ll add that the stork looks both disturbingly alien and quite wonderful, both at once.

    • Yeah I kind of viewed them as ‘borg birds’ or something with those forehead plates. Thought the same of the turkey vulture with some it its facial appendages. So Alien it is!! But, glad for what stands for the ‘wonderful’ part too!! The planet is still populated by amazing species.

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