Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

April 23, 2010

Green Heron

Filed under: Birds, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, style — richditch @ 6:11 pm
Green Heron

Green Heron

Yes, I’d prefer that the vines didn’t cross the beak of this Green Heron photographed on April 20, 2010, at the Gilbert Water Ranch.

But when your subjects are wild birds at the places they choose to be and you don’t do setups, or bait birds, or cut away vegetation in the field, then you sometimes have to decide if an issue is an image killer or not. For me the vine is minor enough compared to the other aspects of the image that I decided to post it.

In such circumstances I look for a clear view, and if I can’t find one then I still try to get a good composition where I limit the problems. I think it is important to keep the eye clear – viewers tend to look there first and like eye contact with the subject. It is the eye that usually gives an image “life.”

My composition here gives a good profile of the heron and places the bird in interesting habitat with more room in front of the bird than behind it, keeping the subject out of dead center. I’ve been careful to not clip the toes at the bottom of the frame. I’ve avoided any harsh shadows cutting across an important part of the subject.

Some photographers would clone out the vines in Photoshop, but I like my nature photos to be natural and consider changing the image in such a way to be dishonest.

Nikon D200, 300/2.8 AF-S plus TC20E (2x converter), ISO 400, 1/250th second at f/8, Gitzo tripod with gimbal head, matrix metered, natural light.



  1. I love that you captured such a quality image that you can see each feather on the breast! Also amazing that you got the focus on the bird and not the vines.

    Comment by Idaho_Birder — April 24, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

  2. Rich,

    I love the setting, the pose of the heron, eye contact and the beautiful natural colors. The vine crossing the bill isn’t a real issue for me though like you I would prefer that it was not there.

    Comment by Mia — May 1, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

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