Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

June 9, 2009

Great Blue Heron (well, maybe not great but good)

Filed under: behavior, Birds, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, light — richditch @ 7:00 pm
Great Blue Heron with the shakes

Great Blue Heron with the shakes

Going back to the same place repeatedly has its good points and its bad points. I’ve discussed before the payoffs in getting to know a location and the birds and other animals that live there so that you can make the best of any future visit. Of course, one of the bad points in going to the same place all the time is that you begin repeating yourself and you can get bored with what you do photograph.

Since I started photographing birds in the early 1970’s I’ve shot a lot of Great Blue Herons. Their stately positions and slow movements can be hard to pass, but talk about filling your files with a lot of similar images over the years. Its getting harder each year to find a fresh opportunity, and when one occurs it is nice when notice it and even better when you don’t completely blow the opportunity.

It was a nice day to be out, with unusual (for AZ) overcast skies, and I had good company with fellow photographer Brendon at the Gilbert Water Ranch. We both reacted when this Great Blue Heron started to shake, and in spite of the flat light and close background we both got off some shots.

Since I’ve been so busy lately I never got around to processing any of my images, especially when I looked at them during the initial edit and was a bit put off by the low contrast look. Then Brendon emailed one of his images and it blew me away.

I’ve still only found time to process one shot, and I don’t think I’ve done as well as I can with this one. I know I will spend more time on the next one when I can get to it. Working from a low contrast shot like this gives lots of flexibility in post processing, and there’s a lot of freedom it interpreting color and saturation.

Speaking of time I’m still overloaded with other priorities right now, and it has become obvious that I can’t met my goals of a new post every day at this time. Please don’t think I’m losing interest as I really enjoy writing about these images, the field experiences, and the post processing. When I pick an image for a post I’m seldom clear about what I will write, so this is fun way to do some self anaalysis and learning.

Nikon D200, 300/2.8 plus TC20E (2x), ISO 200, 1/125th at f/8. spot metered -1/3rd ev compensation.

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