Animals, Birds, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Brand New Robins in Black and White

I’m pretty excited to have a robin’s nest right outside my kitchen window.  I had been tracking the nest for days and thrilled to see that two have hatched. In addition to taking color photos I was interested to see what these birds would look like in black and white:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/400

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/400

At the time this photo was taken the babies had been hatched for at least 9 hours.  I had taken their picture earlier in the day and they were already bigger and had more feathers than my earlier shots.

I edited this photo in Photoshop.  I cropped the image then converted it to black and white, then I sharpened it.  Here is the original color version as it was straight out of the camera:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/400

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/400

What do you think?  It is more common to see an image like this in color, but do you like the black and white treatment? Feel free to leave a comment below

I wrote this post in part as a response to the theme of “small subjects” over at Cee’s Black and White Challenge. I’m not sure if I would have thought to convert this image to black and white if I had not seen her challenge, so I’d like to thank her for the idea.



33 thoughts on “Brand New Robins in Black and White

      • My very thought when I saw it…the B&W conveys the dramatic sharpness of the nest straw against the tender flesh of the newborns–but that color blue! It would be too classic (for me) to pass up. I’ll bet you can hold the texture of the egg even with a tint of the blue. Either way, you had the rare opportunity to capture a precious moment in the lives of these two creatures and you did it beautifully…congratulations!


  1. well first of all – I hardly ever get to see this precious glimpse of nature. and the nests I have been able to peek in – the momma has been on a nearby roof making noises and it freaked me out – or the nests have been so high that I cannot get a good look. but here, we get to soak it up and look as long as we want. and the B&W shows the texture of the egg and beak more – and gives a whole different feel.
    but I feel like this represents what a gift photography can be – to grab a photo that almost stops time – it captures a moment that is precious and allows us t celebrate life. then – the two unhatched eggs – and all those feathers coming in – we see that this is only one part of the amazing things that are going on on the side of your house….
    just so wonderful – and is there turquoise thread in the nest? well that color in the front of the nest plays with the egg color – and I am sure there is so much more going on in the composition that you photo techies can see – like the light location, the centering of things, etc. – but I so enjoyed this. warmed my heart and still does….


    • I haven’t blogged much yet about this nest, I have a post sitting in my drafts folder waiting to be finished, but I am lucky with the tolerant disposition of these robins. I do try to time my set-up and take down of the camera to times when they are off the nest. However, there are power lines right there and they do come a perch on them to watch me, and sometimes encourage me to go away. I do my set-up and take down pretty quickly 🙂 It has sparked a whole conversation in this house as to wether or not the mother bird is the same mother bird as last year or a baby that hatched off the nest in a previous year. We just think this one is particularly tolerant of me.
      That thread you see is actually a wire, so it is part of the box that was already there, they just weaved it into the nest. We’ll be careful once the nest has been abandoned, to take it down carefully.
      I love this project, it is a highlight of my spring.


      • well thanks for the follow up = and how cool that the wire matches the eggs – artsy things must find you – ha! also, the bird must have a sense elf trust – which is likely felt – ya know. and cool that wonder if it is the same bird or not – and well, what a beautiful thing to capture – 🙂


      • OK, so I have published the blog post where I talk about the evolution of the nest. I’m sorry to say it doesn’t have a happy ending.
        The things they wrap into their nests is fascinating to me, there was some string in there this year as well.


      • Hey – well believe it or not – your warning about it not having a happy ending helped prep me!! and it was sad, but I like how you let it unfold in the post. and have to share more later, but you inspired me to peek inside of the nest over here – and oh wow – the birds look exactly like yours – (those Robins all look the same -lol) and well, maybe that’s where your birds went to – they came to RVA to keep me company. just kidding – gotta run – but have one more tidbit to share later.


      • Ha! they all look the same 🙂 It’s funny because when we have this nest, we get attuned to some of the differences in the way the adults look and can actually tell “ours” separate from other robins who are just foraging.
        Also, in an unrelated matter, I went and bought a bar of that Zum Frankincense & Myrrh soap (remember that post?). I love it! I bought a bar to send as a gift to a friend 🙂


      • oh you bought some F&M “Z umbar” soap (my auto correct would not let me write that word for some reason – argh – had to use quotes. anyhow, let me know if you like it – so curious. and we just tired two new soaps – sometimes when I am checking out at Lucky Vitamin – I check and look at their clearance stuff – and get some fun goodies this way – like as a joke one time – got some Justin Bieber dental floss for a dollar. and well, recently they had some nice goat’s milk soap on sale and so we tried it (nothing great.

        but the other soap we tried – that is awesome – is Kirk’s coconut oil soap – and well, I do not want this to get too long, but some people use it for shampoo because it is all natural and suds up nicely – and well, it is really great stuff and wal-mart sells it now too. this is one you have to try out at some point…. here is the amazon link….


      • OK, so I’m stuck a bit on the Justin Bieber dental floss… I think it is funny enough when they put cartoon characters on it. 🙂
        I love the F&M soap, I’ve been using it for a week or two now.


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