Snowy Egret Fishing

Another from Chincoteague. This snowy egret had a brilliant fishing strategy. As high tide came in, it flew to this limb and grabbed small fish and (what I believe are) shrimp by the dozens. I bet it caught over 30 prey items while I was there. This was just as the clouds and rain were starting to clear, which was actually helpful because the egret would’ve been backlit otherwise. I liked all the action in this one.

In post, I cropped a bit, dodged the whites on the bird, burned some brighter areas of the BG, cloned a few areas in the water, resized, sharpened the bird, and reduced noise through a darks mask. All C&C welcome.

_LWG7571 copy
700mm, tripod
ISO 1600

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What artistic feedback would you like if any?

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I don’t know anything about bird photography, but greatly admire anyone who can get a decent photo of a bird. This is a very striking image. You’ve managed to capture a great gesture of the bird. The water droplets are a bonus. I like the white body and yellow feet against the black background. The only thing that bothers me about this image is that your can’t really see the legs. When I look at the photo, at first glance all I see is a body and some feet.

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Wonderful action, Lyle. I love the curves of spray and the dark background sets everything off very well. I do think you might be able to pullout a bit more detail in the white plumage, if you want to; but ti does make an interesting graphical element as is.

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Hi Lyle,
Love this. A striking image with the water drops flying about and the prey. Really like how you have to hone in on the prey to figure out it is a shrimp. I don’t mind lack of eye contact here given the action. I could see what toning down the brightest whites looks like as Dennis suggests but I wouldn’t risk graying them out especially since the contrast is nice against that dark background.

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Chincoteague! I love to shoot there. I was born and raised within 30 minutes of the NWR, and when I get back for visits, I do my best to get over there to shoot a time or two.

What a great shot, Lyle. That waster spray and droplets is such a bonus as he slings his prey. Perfect timing!

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Love the composition with the whole log. The stop action of the water droplets is great. I’d like to see more detail in the whites which might have helped separate the head from the body/neck. But this is a fun image showing the behavior of the bird!

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Hi Lyle
The back ground and blacks, white and water droplets are very clean( it would have been nice to have more detail in the whites, but sometime you have to live with what the lighting give you.). This photograph shows nature as art and for that I am thankful.

Thanks, all. Seems like a good idea to tone down the whites on the body a touch to help separate it from the head (it is also time to calibrate my monitor!). @Shirley_Freeman, that would’ve been an incredible place to grow up. The habitat and bird life are amazing. My only disappointment is that I only saw two skimmers and didn’t have any good chances with terns. They’d roped off half the beach (or more) for breeding birds, so it is probably a good thing overall that they had plenty of room to stay away from me.

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Great action shot. The swirl of the water droplets, head position, and the catch tell a nice story. I like how the white body stands out against the black background. Well done.

Really sweet action shot Lyle. The spray and the head turn are what make this image special to me. Love the moody feel to it also with dark foreground and background playing well with the all white bird. Yeah, the legs disappear a little bit but I think it even adds to the scene.