Saturday, 19 March 2011

A Sad Loss!

What ever happened to the days when stunning black and white vignettes graced the pages of our Ornithological Journals?

What happened to scraper board?

and what ever happened to a lot of the artists that produced them?

Ive uploaded a small selection of the type of work I am talking about and would love to think that one day I may see it again in Birdwatch, Birdwatching, British Birds, Birding World (At least Birding World has held on to having artwork decorate the front cover) alongside the fantastic photography that decorates the pages in these periodicals.

Black Stork (Phil Jones)

Greenshank on Nest (Andrew Shaw)

Dawn Goosanders (Peter M. Leonard)

Dusky Warbler (Brian Small)

Common Terns (John Cox)

Dartford Warbler (Brian Small)

Upland Sandpiper (Martin Hallam)

Northern Oriole (Ian Lewington)

Pallas's Warbler (Gary Wright)

Great Snipe (Martin Hallam)

In my eyes it has just as much right to be there than any high resolution image and encapsulates a bird a whole lot better than a full frame close up of a bird in which each rictal bristle is on display.

I'm not saying I don't love pin sharp close ups, as I do and a lot of the time they are essential for identification within a lot of species but would just love to see more photos whereby birds are in the surroundings and the environment/habitat has just as much voice as the bird itself.

Martin Cade of Portland Bird Observatory achieves just this and for this reason is still one of my favourite Bird photographers, I hope he doesn't mind me using his images as an example but this is what I mean and I think you will agree they look stunning.

Sorry if I sound like I'm ranting I just feel quite passionate about this subject!

Anyway these two images are my Martin Cade attempt of a Red-Backed Shrike on Fair Isle in 2009 and are some of my favourite images i have ever taken.

Cheers for the inspiration Martin and keep up the great work

P.s: If anyone feels just as strongly about this subject then simply scan your old black and white images/illustrations, old blast from the past images, vignettes you once had printed, vignettes you didn't get printed or drawings you simply love from old journals and email them to me ( and I will continue to post them for the people to see and enjoy! Thanks Ever So Much and I really hope the above artists don't mind me using there work.

Thanks again Jack