Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

August 17, 2013

Black-crowned Night Heron

Filed under: Birds, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, light — richditch @ 11:07 am
Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

I’m just getting started with separating the wheat from the chaff in my backlog of unprocessed images, and I intend to process a few “discovered” images as I continue the sorting. The first of these discoveries is this adult Black-crowned Night Heron looking for breakfast along an inflow at the Gilbert Water Ranch.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

It was November 29, 2008, and I was using a Nikon D200 with my Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S lens mounted on a TC20E 2x converter. This has ben my reliable bird optic since I purchased it new in 1998 – it gives my auto focus and has a good close focusing distance without the need for extension tubes.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

The light was low contrast. I can’t recall anything about the day so I don’t know if it was an uncommonly overcast; this may just be the result of being in a shaded area below the trees where the water flows into the pond.

Low contrast light is good for retaining detail in both bright and dark areas and can be a savior with a primarily black and white subject. It does, however, make the scene look flat from reduced shadows and a little soft (also from the lack of shadows that helps define feather detail). I’ve corrected some of that be increasing contrast in post processing, while being careful not to make the image too contrasty and unnatural.

Since the light lev el was low I shot at ISO 400 (the D200 gets rather noisy above that in my experience). With the lens wide open at at effective f/5.6 the shutter speed was around 1/100th second.

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