20 Cool Photos of Crows and Ravens

Ravens and crows have a poor reputation in many cultures, as they’re associated with death, warfare, trickery, and bad luck. This reputation, along with their black feathers and chilling cry has made them a common part of scary movies and literature. From Alfred Hitchcock’s horror film The Birds to Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem The Raven, the birds regularly appear in popular culture as bad news.

But in fact, crows and ravens are remarkable for their high intelligence and excellent memory. They’re not mindless harbingers of death, but rather persistent, problem-solving creatures that have adapted to living with humans. While they might’ve once been only present on battlefields and other scenes of death, they’ve since adjusted to living in the heart of cities, amidst traffic, busy sidewalks, and confusing noises.

Researchers have only begun to discover how intelligent ravens and crows are. To get an idea of their problem-solving abilities, check out this interesting TED talk by Joshua Klein about the intelligence of crows. Though Klein doesn’t mention ravens, they are as intelligent as crows, too.

Nevertheless, for photographers, crows and ravens are still ominous subjects that can give photos a haunting atmosphere. They’re a great subject to shoot around Halloween when you’ve had enough of jack o’lanterns and costume parties. Your photos will be moody enough for the holiday, yet also appropriate to display year-round, as crows and ravens aren’t limited to one season.

Photos of Crows and Ravens

Here are a few ideas to consider when photographing crows and ravens, along with 20 inspirational examples.

Silhouettes

Crows and ravens are excellent subjects for silhouettes. Because they’re almost completely black, they can create silhouettes even when the lighting isn’t ideal for silhouettes. Perched against the sky, their dark outline can give images a sense of foreboding.

Waleed Shafi – Sunset silhouette
Waleed Shafi - Sunset silhouette crows

Dun.can – Dusk
Dusk crows on rooftop

Claudio – Crow
Claudio - Crow

Shawn Kent – Not Quite a Murder
Shawn Kent - two crows on building

Gokulnath – lights
Gokulnath - streetlight with raven

Fred Veenkamp – Spread your wings…
Fred Veenkamp - crow wings spread

NancyJayParis – Crows on powerline
NancyJayParis - Crows in East Vancouver 2014

Close-Ups

Because of their intelligence, ravens and crows can be fascinating birds to watch. If you observe them for long enough, you might be surprised by their ingenuity and clever way of dealing with obstacles. Their keen minds are sometimes apparent in close-ups, as their sharp eyes look into the camera.

milo bostock – RAVEN PORTRAIT
milo bostock - RAVEN PORTRAIT

Becky Matsubara – Common Raven with Coot’s Head
Becky Matsubara - Common Raven with Coot's Head

Brian Uhreen – The Crow
Brian Uhreen - Crow drinking water

m01229 – Raven at Bryce Canyon National Park
Raven at Bryce Canyon National Park

hedera.baltica – Nutty crow
hedera baltica - crow with nut

karen johns – crow and willie wagtail
karen johns - raven and willie wagtail

Action Shots

Like silhouettes, action shots of ravens or crows flying can have a sinister feel. Whether you’re photographing a single raven or a large group of crows (aptly called a “murder” of crows), your photos can give the impression that something grim is about to happen.

Krystian Olszanski – 49/365
Krystian Olszanski - raven in fog

Hash Milhan – Crows – Towards the sun i fly, not as Icarus.
Hash Milhan - raven against sky

Srividya Balayogi – Crows and Clouds
Srividya Balayogi - Crows and Clouds

Roland Tanglao – take off eh :-) !!!!!
Roland Tanglao - raven flying

armelle chapman – In Time
armelle chapman - crows flying

MICOLO J Thanx – A Murder of crows
MICOLO J Thanx - A Murder of crows

Cat – chasing crows III
flock of crows

Have a cool photo of crows or ravens you’ve taken? Share it with us on Instagram or Flickr, so we can appreciate it!

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