I was out on the Levee side early this morning, just before dawn broke at 7:30. I was out there an hour earlier, the best time to take images of light colored birds is prior to daybreak. This morning however I was greeted by a Coopers Hawk on the fence rail in front of me which is the subject of tomorrows blog.
The Great Blue Heron was difficult to see against the background tules and rock, it was quite dark. I set the ISO high (1250) to be sensitive to light, along with F6.3 and shutter speed set at 1/200. I was literally shooting in the dark, it ended up well with just enough light to focus.
As is normal during attempting to photograph water birds patience is one of the most demanding attributes to posses. I waited for this guy to do something, anything, I was nearly as motionless as he was. The image above was taken on live view mode, I rarely use it preferring to peer through the eyepiece. However when photographing waterbirds the viewfinder gets real old real fast.
I observed an occurrence I have not seen prior to this morning, the Seagull started hunting as usual and the Heron took exception to it. I attempted to get a shot of the bigger bird chasing the Gull off but it ended up unusable. It appeared the Great Blue Heron was chasing the Gull from its hunting grounds, I knew they were territorial but to what extent I hadn’t a clue. The picture of the Gull ended up good. White birds are tough due to the Chromatic aperations from the bright sun and dark background.
I included the above image of a Heron to illustrate the difficulty in photographing light colored objects even though this is the early morning sun. The beak of the large bird is light colored causing the sun to reflect from it as if it’s a mirror. The window is short for successfully taking images of them, I keep this one as a reminder to make sure the sun is not in the no-go zone.
I have a number of Blue Heron photos, I’m continually taking more. I replace the lesser quality ones with new images. It’s a good thing to practice as it is an effective way for me to gauge the progress I’m making improving my skills.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter