A Snack for a Green Heron

Surprisingly, these little guys can’t take in a large fish like its cousins the great Egrets or Great Blue Herons so they must rely on many smaller snack sized meals. This one managed four littles ones from the same perch.

Specific Feedback Requested

All comments welcome.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
D810, Tamron 150-600 Sport @600mm, f/7.1, 1/800, ISO 500

Availed myself of all the new 'masking" techniques in the newest version of ACR, then used some of the TK8 light and dark masks to get more detail and contrast.

Well this is fantastic. Perfect pose and positioning. I think you nailed the post processing with the new tools too.

Great shot with amazing clarity. I am also liking the new release of Adobe LR

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Nice pose – trying to keep his feet dry? I love the detail and sharpness you got, with nice color in the soft light. Masking looks completely natural.

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Very good, Chris. Excellent pose and action and the processing looks spot on.

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Chris, you nailed the action here, and the pose is great. A really nice shot.

I’m going to start sounding redundant (after my comments on your raven image), but I think this would be helped by cropping off the bottom. By leaving the subject centered like this (vertically), the eye is yanked into two different directions away from it… something I feel is counterintuitive to the sort of smooth, natural “flow” of the eye as it explores the frame in a particular direction. You’d have a choice of cropping from top—with the heron looking downward it might be temping to leave more canvas below—or bottom, but in this case I think cropping from bottom is best. You have a lovely smooth background above the bird, whereas the foreground textures are a bit more distracting. Retaining the cleaner part of the background would work better, IMO.

btw- not to go overboard with cropping, but I think the balance would work even better getting the bird farther from the horizontal center… so either cropping a bit behind it, or if you have more real estate in the original photo in front of it, reintroducing that (if it’s clean). That gives the eye more room to move wander forward, something we’re inclined to do with this pointy, profiled pose.

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Frankly, I don’t see a whole lot of difference in this crop, but everybody has a different eye, so I’ll let the jury decide :slight_smile:

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I think @Max_Waugh has a good point, and I find this crop removes some distraction from the bottom. It feels too tight on the right, though, especially with the stubby tail. If you have a little more on the left, that could be a good addition.

I like the original, crop-wise, as there is enough blurred foreground to sandwich with the OOF BG and so highlight the focus on the subject. Never knew herons had such large claws!

An excellent shot of this heron, Chris! Clarity and detail are very nice and the color is excellent. I think the composition is just right with the original crop and the low angle of the shot is great also. The only issue I have is with the overexposure, resulting in loss of feather detail on its breast and too much glare and loss of detail on those bright yellow legs.

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Keep in mind this was shot from a moving boat from about 50 feet away at 600mm with a lens that is known for softness outside the primary focal point. My histogram on the original exposure on my RAW image showed no over-exposure. If anything, a bit under-exposed from where I would have shot it with my D500 and 200-500 and got back as much as I could in ACR. Almost all of my shots on the Herons and Egrets are made between sunrise to 8:30 am in a heavily populated cypress swamp area where the sun doesn’t become a huge factor until 9am or if I’m shooting up into a tree for an Eagle or Osprey. I am not trying to make an excuse but rather to explain the difficulties shooting in trying conditions where our merry group of photographers do everything we can not to stress the natural environment.