Another Stick for the Nest

I was out looking for Great Blue Herons as I knew the nesting/mating season was in full swing, when I heard a flutter behind me and this guy flew right over my head. I was shooting with a long lens but even at 200mm, he literally filled the viewfinder. I think it made a pretty striking shot, even so oddly cropped.

Specific Feedback Requested

Do you feel the crop is too confining?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
D500, 200-500 @200mm, f/8, 1/3200, ISO 400

Minimal tweaking to a light and dark mask, mostly for detail.

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Tremendous detail! You really have the hang of this flying bird thing. I don’t mind the crop at all, it tells a story and tells it well. It conveys forward momentum so well. The blues are overwhelming though and you could play with toning down the sky a bit. I know these guys are blue, too, but it seems like it’s bleeding into the bird when it probably isn’t. Simply fabulous. Oh and you could add a tiny bit of canvas ahead of the bird to emphasize that forward motion even more. Should be a snap to do considering the clear field of sky.

I think the crop makes it look artistic. I think it could look really dramatic in black and white.

This is still one of my most favored GBH shots. I’d love to say this was all skill, and to a large degree, it was, but luck favors the prepared photographer and I was already prepared for BIF.

I’ve never tried it in B&W, so that could be interesting. As to the blue sky, against the blue-grays of the GBH, I tend to like a little more contrast and as well, I tend toward more contrast for printing on metal and this one printed out at 30x60 for a friend in CA who lived less than 30 minutes from where Bay Photo prints. Deal for her as the shipping to me would have cost close to a $100 to FL.

As to cropping, my concern was more directed to the winged section of the GBH being too tight, not giving thought to adding a more directed flight path. I would have to do this artificially as in one more inch of actual space, there was a another tree to contend with that added some fill and cloning to get out of the area I already had.

I just tried the B&W and for me, it just doesn’t work.

A very unique shot indeed. As noted, being prepared is always important and a little luck here and there doesn’t hurt either.

Crop: I think it’s fine for this kind of an image.

Blue sky: Another vote to desaturate it. It just overpowers the bird and that’s a shame for this image.

Desaturated the blue sky but did give the sky a tad more contrast.

Hi Chris, really fine behavioral capture with a unique perspective. Details and exposure on the bird look great. The repost does improve the image IMO.

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Very cool shot. Excellent detail and the cropping works well. The stick adds a lot, providing some context to the image. I’ll cast my vote for the reposted sky; the heron seems to stand out more. Great job.

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Excellent, Chris and I like the reposted sky. Well done.

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