Did you ever just want to stay in bed?

Project Description

On a very cold Feb 8, I came across this Great Blue in the Black Hall Outfitters Old Lyme Marina. It was just off to the left of the boat launch, so I back up very slowly and for the next 12 minutes, I photographed the Blue from in side my car. I was beginning to think the Heron would stayed put for a vary long time and when it just popped up and flew away.
Thank you for stopping by.

Project Images

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5

Image 6

Image 7

Image 8

Image 9

Image 10

Image 11

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the project. Are there certain images that do not fit with the others? Is it cohesive?

  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the project.

  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the project.

  • Technical: Overall feedback on the technical aspects of the project. Are the images processed similarly enough? Are the images print-ready?

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique


Intent of the project

Gallery Exhibition

Additional Details: Canon R5, Cannon 100-500mm &1.4ext, f9, 560mm, -.3EV, 1/1600, ISO 5000-3200. The photos were cropped around 33% and the highlights and background were adjusted in DXO Photo Lab 6, using De-noise Tech. (DeepPrime).

Great sequence, especially the last five, showing lift-off. I am always impressed when these huge birds manage to take to the air - it seems so unlikely! You’ve captured the feel and look of a cold winter morning very well. Much enjoyed - thank you.

The Blue was just packing it self into a smaller and smaller ball in an attempt to keep worm. Thank you for your kind words.

Hi Peter,

This is a very well done photo project!
I think you did a great job of putting these together, the lighting, the perspective, the details and most importantly, the sense of action and the story it tells about this Great Blue Heron.

The amount of FG is very consistent throughout the series and that adds to it for me.

Your skill and experience as an avian photographer really shine, Peter!

A real pleasure to view! :slight_smile:

This series has a pretty clear story to tell and might be titled, “Taking Off”. The tricky thing about doing a series is that each image wants to inform the series, to add to the theme, without being repetitious. So, for me, the one thing I’d want to do with this series is edit. Again, for me (not an ornithologist), the first six images are virtually identical. I find because they are so repetitious that I lose interest. I would be inclined to include just one of those images, two at the most because this series doesn’t begin to take off until the Great Blue does (see what I did there :smile:). I also wish you’d had at least one more shot of the heron in flight without the ground beneath their feet because I think it would give the series as a whole a more satisfying arc - from rest, to the tension of take off, and finally to rest again in the air. The one other thing I would add is that the brightest whites of the heron’s plumage are blown out or nearly in most of the frames from #5 on. I would suggest selectively bringing down the brightest brights through dodging, selectively lowering exposure, or whatever other means work for you. I hope you find this helpful.

Hi Kerry,

For me, each of those images are important to the series because it shows the behavior typical of birds preparing for flight.
The first three are like looking both ways before entering the skyway, the fourth one makes me think it’s doing the last minute pre-fight inspection, the fifth one says that it’s getting ready to commit to the takeoff and the sixth one with the head down and forward is an indication that it’s now fully committed to lunging forward and spreading it’s wings.
A little bit of imagination was applied to my description of their behavior, my comments weren’t totally based on my knowledge of them.

I guess the fact that their behavior interests me is what makes the whole series work.
I can see how It would be very easy to quickly lose interest if their behavior isn’t interesting to you.

My comments are just an observation and perhaps an opening for discussion.

The intent of the project Gallery Exhibition

Hello, my 2 cents. Kudos for submitting here #1, especially after David’s project.

Thanks for submitting these. Projects are a fun way to look at our work, but they can be difficult, so to offer any valuable information, I have a question what kind of gallery are you trying to submit to? I read you were interested in the bird’s behavior. What about an Audubon article submission? or a Preservation socieity? Galleries vary so much in the intent of the work they put up that it is hard to steer you that way without more information.

I heard Brenda Petrella Speak recently about a wildlife contest, and she gave us some real honest feedback for wildlife that was interesting. It is the new and different ways of seeing these animals the judges are looking for, “not a bird on a stick,” as she kept saying. Blue herons are one of the most photographed birds in Florida. Because they stand still for so long, but with that said, Birds in flight are hard to get clean and clear. These images are sharp. I shoot with a similar setup, and you did great, especially with the in-flight shots.

Colleen Miniuk taught me that in a series. Especially for publishing goals, It is best to think about varying your shots, meaning some that show the environment, some mid-level, and some details shots. So you might have some from this shoot that might round out a series if you vary your focal length. Hope this helps a little?

1 Like

Hi Mervin, Kerry, & Ariel.
Thank you for your comments. I approach the project a cold morning time Lapps, of a Great Blue Heron thinking about the start of its day. Quiet often you see the blues is this closed down stands in cold weather. This one didn’t start moving until three minutes after I backup my car to get a better angle to shoot from. The first head turn and preening came a minute later. After that stretch and clean-up the heron curled up and sat for another two minutes. The take off was surprise to me when it happen. To me waiting for this Blue to start to fish or fly away, is part of what makes photographing them interesting.
The question as to were one should post these project, is still a mystery to me. I picked Gallery Exhibition, because the others didn’t fit. How about (JUST OF FUN).


Just for fun! It the best reason ! Of all .

We photograph for the adventure of photographing - Brooks Jensen

Birds are definitely fun to watch. Enjoy!

You display the heron’s personality well. In the early images he/she looks grandfatherly (gender uncertain, eh) . He could be chiding you for staring at him with your camera. Wonderful detail and texture in the images. Later he says, "Enough already, I’m taking off. Fun images, nice project.

Hi Larry
Thank you for the comments, All photographs were taken from in the car.