Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

October 10, 2009

Afternoon Egret

Filed under: Birds, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, light, style — richditch @ 6:28 pm
Great Egret

Great Egret

As a birder I have learned to endure getting up early so I can be in the field close to dawn, when bird activity is usually at a peak as birds great the day and begin to feed. And as bird photography has gradually taken the place of bird listing I’ve continued my early morning ways so that I can take advantage of the early morning light with its lower contrast and warm colors.

But my friend Brendon has encouraged me to make more afternoon visits to the Gilbert Water Ranch, especially now that temperatures have dropped back into the welcome double digits.

I joined Brendon on this afternoon a couple weeks ago. We were hoping for a nice late day fly-in of Great and Snowy Egrets with nice late day light in one of the ponds. On our way to a good viewpoint we came across this Great Egret resting in a salt cedar shrub not far off the path. I took a few frames and then hurried along to the viewpoint where I expected to do some flight shots of arriving egrets.

The fly-in never happened, at least not before I had to head for home, so I didn’t get the images that I was hoping to get. But I’m glad I took a couple moments to get this shot – the only one I bothered to process from that day’s visit.

This is typical of my style, showing the subject in habitat. Color is not a major factor; directional lighting that creates natural shadows and gives the image depth is a more important element.

The composition follows proven formulas: the subject is a bit off center with more room in front of the egret than behind it. The background has been rendered as a blur of complementary color by the wide aperture of the long lens. The face of the subject is unobscured with focus on the eye (which serves as the central focus of the image).

Nikon D200, 300/2.8 AF-S lens with TC20E (2x converter), ISO 400, 1/1250 @ f/5.6, matrix meter at -2/3rds stops.


1 Comment »

  1. This is just fabulous. I enjoyed your photo greatly. It speaks indeed – the literally. And thus I am proud of having a chance to bow to you now. Thank you dear Master. While looking at your shot it was so easy to identify oneself with the Great Egret and thus to listen and to hear the nature.

    Comment by Tomas — October 19, 2009 @ 3:54 am

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