there have been no alterations to this shot except for a small crop to bring it a trifle closer. This was taken in Bridport in Tasmania. It is one of the luckier shots I have ever taken, I noticed the full moon and looked for a tree to take as contrast in the shot. As I lined it up, a raven landed in the tree. I then had to change my position slightly to get the raven inside the moon. It all came together and this is one of my favorite shots.

canon450d f2.8 1/200th iso-200 200mm

This shot was featured on the homepage on April 29th, 2011

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`‘Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.’

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,’

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,’ said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you’ – here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!’
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!’
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,’ said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
‘Tis the wind and nothing more!’

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,’ I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning – little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.’

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered – not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.’
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.’

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,’ said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of “Never-nevermore.”’

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.’

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,’ I cried, `thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he has sent thee
Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore -
Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!’ I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! – quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!

Born in the sixties in Melbourne, live with my brother and two german shepherds. It’s all good.

I like nothing more than getting out and finding things to photograph. Well…..that and swinging a golf club:-)

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Comments

  • Lisa  Kenny
    Lisa Kennyover 4 years ago

    this is really good Steve…well done!

  • thanks Lisa, it was a once in a lifetime moment, photographically speaking

    – Steve Scully

  • Cathy  Walker
    Cathy Walkerover 4 years ago

    Love it!

  • thanks Cathy

    – Steve Scully

  • DankaDear
    DankaDearover 4 years ago

    That is fantastic Steve. Love how it worked out like that :)

  • I think there is often an element of luck in photography, I certainly had it:-)

    – Steve Scully

  • stevepolygraph
    stevepolygraphover 4 years ago

    Nice capture. Is that a real raven?

  • you were there, but your camera wasn’t. he he he!!

    – Steve Scully

  • chijude
    chijudeover 4 years ago

    Steve!!! Well done! So dramatic!

  • many thanks Judy

    – Steve Scully

  • brendanscully
    brendanscullyover 4 years ago

    Are you sure you didn’t add the Crow !! He He….very nice one mate……

  • thanks Brend, perhaps it is a sheep in a bird costume:-)

    – Steve Scully

  • NikonJohn
    NikonJohnover 4 years ago

    A truly amazing moment! Perfectly Poe.

  • once upon a midnight dreary….

    – Steve Scully

  • JanT
    JanTover 4 years ago

    Splendid shot! I’m particularly fond of the as-is quality, and that you moved, rather than move the crow. Nicely done!

  • no choice as far as I am concerned, I am not that good at post processing and the bird had no mobile phone, so it was me moving or nothing:-)

    – Steve Scully

  • Linda Bianic
    Linda Bianicover 4 years ago


    wonderful catch?

  • Craig Stronner
    Craig Stronnerover 4 years ago

    Great shot mate. Composition is excellent. Love the minimilist feel to it too

  • thanks for the composition comment Craig. The rules say don’t centralise the subject, but I kinda think this one works

    – Steve Scully

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