Great Blue Heron : Greenfield Lake, Wilmington, NC

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shortcut to original photo . While in Wilmington, NC a few weeks ago I went in search of a couple of good places for bird photography. The first solid reference I found was to a park right in the city, Greenfield Lake. I had not been there before so I really didn't know what to expect. As it happens the lake is the centerpiece of a gorgeous city park that seems to be very well maintained. Really, the place was beautiful. From the parking lot I followed a path to the nearest water's edge. I hadn't been standing there for 10 seconds when this blue heron perched itself on a tree limb directly in front of me! (SCORE!) The bird was obviously used to human activity around the lake because it cared less that I was moving slowly to improve my position. The bird say there and behaved itself while I got off a lot of great shots, some including the bird stretching out that long neck to groom its feathers.

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Comments (10)

Jeroen Verburg on May 11, 2013

Just as good as the first one you posted of this elegant bird. The translucent orange of the beak is a nice detail.

Patty Arsenault on May 11, 2013

Another excellent capture, Kevin. Excellent composition with wonderfully blurred background. Very nicely done! like & YS

Cheers,

Patty

david g Johnson on May 11, 2013

A scrumptious shot Kevin.. on 420mm....Dj.
I looked at some prices for the D800...

I fainted !!

dashalive on May 12, 2013

lovely detail tones & depth here Kev - very nice balance of things mate

Sixten Imgs on May 12, 2013

Another admirable version. This one's almost a ready centerfold for some magazine. Or a book cover.

The spring day light and the forest background make it quite unique. And why to shoot water with this frightening fellow anyway- there surely ain't anybody left by now!

kenfowkes on May 12, 2013

I don't think one could find a better pose and setting without hiring a professional heron model. I really like how the foliage just behind the heron adds to the overall composition. How rare and fortunate to find tree branches so cooperative, a heron so cooperative, a setting so perfect, all at the same time!

Sixten is right, this would make a great centerfold for The Heron Herald.

Christos Theodorou on May 12, 2013

Magnificent portrait. Greetings from Athens.

els f-two on May 14, 2013

beautiful... such great light and beautiful spring-green!

Ijaz Ahmad on May 16, 2013

Very good photo and beautiful bird Like!,,Best greetings from Ijaz Ahmad

Kevin Childress on May 19, 2013

Hello, Jeroen, Patty, Dave, Dasha, sixten, kenfowkes, Christos, els f-two, and Ijaz. I am thankful for all of the fantastic comments on this image - thanks to you all!

There are several comments about the background. That narrow focal plane is my favorite characteristic of this lens. With the teleconverter installed the max aperture is f/5.6 which at that focal length creates amazingly shallow DoF! In fact the bits of foliage directly behind the bird are already out of focus. I got very, very lucky that the bird gave me a 'flat' profile to photograph!

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 11, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Kevin Childress
    • Camera: NIKON CORPORATION NIKON D800
    • Taken on 2013/04/23 15:32:38
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 420.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/5.600
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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