A photo of a bird that stands out starkly against a black or very dark background is not just something that is achieved in Photoshop.

Photographers who value capturing the true scene in front of them, rather than creating a scene later in Photoshop, can go to great lengths to get that bold look of a black background with the bird subject standing out significantly.

But how can you make this happen directly in your camera at the time of the shot?

It’s not as difficult as it might seem.

A heavily shaded background where the bird is lit up in the foreground, when exposed adequately for the bird, will achieve this effect very well.

The brighter or lighter the colored the bird, particularly white birds, the more dramatic the effect will be!

For example, a white Egret taking center stage in a photo where the background is black or very dark gains immediate attention and interest. There are no distractions: just the bird to look at.

A dark or black bird is generally not going to be a good candidate for this type of photography since it will blend into the background too much.

There are definitely exceptions here though: a black bird with bright piercing colored eyes photographed against a black or dark background can create a superb image.