Great Blue Heron Portrait

Great Blue Heron portraitGreat Blue Heron portrait – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, not baited

This Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) got up close and personal with me a few years ago in Florida, it largely ignored my presence altogether as it stalked prey on shore of the Gulf of Mexico. It was a touch unnerving to have such a large wading bird with a spear-like bill towering over me as I sat on the warm sugar sand photographing it. I’m glad it didn’t mistake me for prey.

As usual, I’ve done very little post processing to this image, cropped, removed two little dust bunnies, darkened the mid tones a bit then I masked and sharpened the heron. There are some photographers who would have cleaned up the salt encrusted bill and possibly removed the feather on the bill tip but I prefer to have my images as natural as possible and don’t find the downy feather or the salt on the bill a distraction.

Wow, those occipital plumes are long!


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