Great Egret and re-post

I was walking along a dock and suddenly came upon the Egret. I was so close I couldn’t get the entire Egret into the frame, hence the missing feet. I didn’t want to move, though was able to make some camera adjustments for the poor light conditions. I shot several shots, some when I did move back, but I liked this one with the fish.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Any pertinent technical details:

Canon 7D Mark II; Sigma 150-600 at 150. 1/160 at f6.3. ISO 1000.

Cool that you were able to get so close. Happens sometimes. Details in the Egret look very good. The unfortunate post behind the egret doesn’t help much. Since you were so close that you couldn’t get the whole bird, I’d go for a much tighter crop (may vertical) and go for head/neck/fish. Seems like you have enough pixels to make it work. Just a thought

You shallow DOF is right on the money for dealing with the background piling. I agree that a narrow crop would work, especially with the fish so nicely detailed. Another interesting possibility would be to keep this aspect ratio while cropping really tight to the head, neck and shoulder and right at the waterline of the piling to keep the interesting breast feather details. It wouldn’t eliminate the piling, but the extra weight on the great forms of the egret and fish while reducing the “mass” of the piling could be strong.

We have several of these wonderful birds around our place in Florida, as tame as dogs from neighbors’ feeding them. I’ve never tried photographing them due to the neighborhood backgrounds, but your shot has inspired me to give it a try. Thanks!

Thanks @Keith_Bauer and @Hank_Pennington for your thoughts. Here’s a re-post, cropped, and with the piling removed. I did leave in the reflection to add some sense of depth, otherwise it seemed too black. I think I prefer the original, though agree the post behind the egret isn’t ideal, but it gives me a sense of place.

I had envisioned a horizontal or “landscape” crop, but this certainly helps emphasize your great exposure and detail capture. Quite the beautiful bird!

I think you’ve done a good job on the crop however I do agree with Hank with respect to the horizontal composition. I think if you took half of the area above the head off, this would be a much more pleasing image. But the detail and the fish are fabulous.

I think I prefer the repost, Allen, though the piling doesn’t bother me except for how the edge intersects the bill. I really like the reflections in the water and it makes me wonder if you could carry them in behind the egret rather than having the background in the repost so uniform.

HI Allen
I agree with you, I like the framing is the first posting. Now if you could just leave the post’s reflection in I think that would be the best of both posting. You did a really nice job on the detail and whites.

I like your repost composition. Nice detail in the egret and the repost minimizes the influence of the background.