by Morden O'Hare
It's almost a given with bird photography that your images will be in color since birds are often attractively colored. However after deciding that I wanted to work mostly in black and white I went through all my images and discovered that it is actually possible to do really nice looking black and white conversions of many wildlife subjects including birds.
The Lilac Breasted Roller in this example has beautiful coloration but what makes it an excellent candidate for black and white is the nice back-lighting which creates a contrasty white halo. The texture of the fluffed up feathers and the branch are also key. The simple composition against some nice bokeh finishes it off. I have a lot of nice pics of these birds as they are very common in Botswana but this is my favorite.
This image was taken with a 5Dmk2, 500mm F4+1.4x extender (ISO 400, 1/750, f5.6). It has gone through Lightroom and been finished in CS5 using the amazing Silver Efex plug-in.