I set the light meter on my camera to +1/2 with the intent to eliminate the under-exposure appearance with my mid-day photos. I initially decided to simply stop making the attempt and settle for shade shots, early morning and dusk. However we were busy over the weekend into Tuesday, I had a few hours during the afternoon to take a few.
I am using all Egrets on this blog because they are the most challenging to get quality images of in compromising light. They are bright white reflecting the light from a different angle every time they make a move. Plus they are my biggest challenge during the early morning sunrise and the afternoon bright white with it’s shadows.
The ISO set at 320 with a shutter speed of 1/1000 worked out very well. It enabled me to not only eliminate the shadows but the detail was enhanced considerably.
All of the pictures I took of the Egrets and blue Herons were keepers, good quality. The problem with that is there were over 400 of them; with my goal of keeping around 10% I had some serious work to do. Luckily most of them were duplicates, I take multiple shots of each image as I have found many times one of the three or more stands out with the best detail. I kept 75 not quite 20% but it is still a good amount, realistically most of them will not be displayed anywhere for a long while.
I encountered a problem however while waiting for this Great Blue Heron to take to the air. I was set up 50 feet from this guy watching and snapping a few images. I took them out of boredom adding to the amount of photos I took; I watched him for an hour. During take offs and landings is when the most interesting shots are taken. I noticed a pair of Hawks hunting of which I took some shots of, then returned to the Heron.
I waited another 15 minutes making the decision to roll up and head inside out of the wind. However Mrs. Lebec came out to give me much needed
unsolicited valuable advice. I replied by asking her to encourage the Heron to take off. She did just that walking out on the levee waving, shouting and being a nuisance to the percher; he took to the air. I was ready and snapped a dozen photos in quick succession, I felt it was a grand success. It was not, I left the camera settings as they were. The images suffered from; over-exposure, blur from too slow of a shutter speed and zero detail. All were deleted then shoved to the trash, I should have checked my settings; there is always next time. The picture above is the spot on the far Levee he decided to land on none too happy.
It’s interesting to me how many of the birds seem to be gradually getting used to me on my wheelchair ghosting around them. I am able to approach them quite close, of course I have never shooed them off or in any way molested them. Crows are the only species I have not regained the trust of after my video debacle of now three years ago, they give me a wide berth. It’s not the chair or my scooter that caused them to be frightened, it was me and my camera.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter