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Thread: Herons Revisited

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Herons Revisited

    I returned to the heron tree, for one more try at capturing these birds in flight... Better but I've realized that to get a truly great shot with feather detail one has to get a lot closer, especially for a good full size photo.

    I had to use an iso of 1250 which is too high for my camera (Nikon D80 Manual SS 2000 A 5.6 )

    Herons Revisited


    From a different position... hoping for better light but I didn't notice the heavy shadow on the wings when photographing.

    Herons Revisited

    Different location and unfortunately I had my exposure set at -1...

    Herons Revisited

    Closer in a different location but he/she refused to fly...

    Herons Revisited

    And an odd one...

    Herons Revisited

    C&C always welcome but really I'm just sharing as a follow up to my progress on herons, ie; to show that I tried..

  2. #2
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Christina, I really like the first and the last two. What was the heron doing in the head and shoulders (and open mouth) portrait? I'm looking at the images on an iPad so won't attempt any technical comments.

  3. #3

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    Re: Herons Revisited

    #1 has good wing action and the bird is carrying nesting material.

    The last one is a nice example of heron behaviour.

    But nothing really wrong with any of them.

  4. #4
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Bruce
    I'm not sure what the heron was doing... maybe eating bugs or seaweed on the rocky shore, or cleaning its' mouth... Sorry I don't know.


    Geoff
    Thank you but I want my bird shots to be of the same quality as your macro shots, ie; perfect.

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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Christina, I'm still seeing improvement every time you post these so I think that's great. I do think maybe that location is just a difficult one with them being so high. Also it seems like the time of day is an issue (although I'm not able to look at the EXIF info right now).

    I kind of like that last shot. It looks like he/she is laughing!

  6. #6
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Thank you Terri... Birds are a challenge that I hope to tackle this year. Yes, the tree is too high up. It was early morning about 1 1/2 hours after sunrise, tons of herons but the lighting conditions are a challenge. I will be searching out new locales.

    Yes, the heron was laughing at me

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    Christina, I'm still seeing improvement every time you post these so I think that's great. I do think maybe that location is just a difficult one with them being so high. Also it seems like the time of day is an issue (although I'm not able to look at the EXIF info right now).

    I kind of like that last shot. It looks like he/she is laughing!

  7. #7
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Finally I managed some decent shots in Vancouver... Posting for future generations, just so when I'm long gone they know I finally managed a decent heron shot

    Manual Varying F6-F8 SS 2500, matrix metering iso auto varied from 720-1000 (For Joe )

    I found this heron on the beach, and managed to get within 2-3 meters of him. On a sunny day and mostly front lit so I was surprised to see just how high an iso was selected by my camera and pleased that I see no noise, even at full size.

    Editing in LR, with an unsharp mask and a very gentle reverse S curve.. Exposure increased a bit in some shots and decreased a bit in other shots. WB varies between as shot (warmer blue) and daylight which seemed to look the most natural... Picking the WB continues to be a struggle for me, so any words of advice on WB would be appreciated.



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    All for a tiny piece of kelp

    Herons Revisited


    It was challenging to focus with all the competing kelp so I changed to manual focus.. What I have learned from all of this is that for a good shot of a bird you have to be close, lighting is crucial and not to be so fearful of using higher isos.

    Joe if you are reading this.. I also photographed a woodpecker that day. Late in the afternoon. The bird was front lit and the lighting look pretty good to me. My camera selected an iso of 3200 and the photo was still underexposed. So I dropped the aperature from F8 to F4... Still too dark... So I kept decreasing the shutter speed.. At a SS of 800 the bird was still underexposed and the photo was blurry, to boot... So I walked away knowing it was impossible to manage a decent shot in these conditions. It was a great lesson for me in using iso. Joe... Thank you so much for that.

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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Yes, you did it, perfect beautiful pictures.

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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Christina, wonderful shots of a heron in its westcoast habitat! How on earth did you manage to convince the heron to let you get within 2-3 meters of him/her?

    Whenever I think about adjusting WB in pp, I also come back to auto (as used by camera) in preference to any other preset. I suppose if I was prepared to make manual fine tuning adjustments to the WB, the result might be different.

  10. #10
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Thank you Splashy and Bruce. Very nice to hear, as I've been trying for a decent heron shot for a quite a while

    Bruce... I approached very slowly, bit by bit, taking photos along the way... I had to walk along slippery seaweed covered rocks and I just inched my way along, incurred a few scratches on my knees in the process. Surprisingly the heron did not seem to mind my company and I think I could have gotten closer but that would have meant walking on unseen slippery rocks in the water. Maybe I will buy some reef walker shoes.

    They were photographed WB auto but for the the cooler toned photos I set the WB to daylight... Do you prefer the warmer toned blues as photographed? I would like to know this. Thank you.

  11. #11
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    ....They were photographed WB auto but for the the cooler toned photos I set the WB to daylight... Do you prefer the warmer toned blues as photographed? I would like to know this. Thank you.
    The differences are relatively subtle (and I'm using a profiled monitor). But my personal preference is probably for the slightly warmer blues.

    I can't remember whether the camera's WB setting is something that's carried over in the RAW image to LR or whether like every other similar setting it affects only the camera's jpeg (I shoot in both but never do anything with the JPEG's). In any event, whenever in pp I try changing the WB from auto to daylight (or sunlight), the image nearly always become too cool or blue.

  12. #12
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Thank you Bruce... Very helpful. I'm fairly sure that the WB affects only the jpeg in LR.

  13. #13
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Beautiful heron Christina, nice color and sharp detail... good work. Two things I want to comment on first is ISO, when the shutter speed is high to freeze action and provide a tack sharp image the ISO has to rise because the shutter is open for such a short time even in bright sun. Second is WB, you mentioned you could use any tips. There are two types of WB... Accurate and Correct. Accurate is what a product photographer would use to display in the image the exact color of the food or product. Correct color is whatever a individual photographer wants his or her image to appear. Early morning light has more reds and yellow, late morning/noontime light has more blue. A nature/bird image should look normal and display the color most times as shot. Modern cameras are very good at recording this. Most times Auto White Balance does an excellent job. Sometimes a slight change helps, most times to warm an image that appears too blue or cool... slight meaning no more that 200 on the color temperature scale.

    The answer to WB affecting only the JPEG in Lightroom is no, the RAW image shown in the Develop Module shows the color temperature chosen by the Auto WB. That is why As Shot is the first on the drop down menu of choices.

  14. #14
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Thank you Joe. Your compliment means a lot to me.

    Sorry to ask more questions but with respect to iso, it seems to me that if my camera is set to manual mode it should not change any settings on me?

    With respect to WB.. Thank you, very helpful..

    With respect to
    The answer to WB affecting only the JPEG in Lightroom is no, the RAW image shown in the Develop Module shows the color temperature chosen by the Auto WB. That is why As Shot is the first on the drop down menu of choices.

    This means that Auto WB in LR in the raw photo is as shot, ie if I used auto it is auto, and if I used Sunny it used sunny for the as shot?

    Thank you.

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    Re: Herons Revisited

    love these heron shots Christina really like the ones with the eel they have hard time eating eels ... they are so squiggly .

  16. #16
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Thank you James. Truly appreciated... I don't think it is an eel, just a piece of seaweed. Mind you the heron spent quite some time fishing and there was seaweed all over the place, so maybe it is an eel... Not sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamn4ex View Post
    love these heron shots Christina really like the ones with the eel they have hard time eating eels ... they are so squiggly .

  17. #17

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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Beautiful pics. I love them all.

    I know first hand how hard it is to get a shot of a heron in flight. I have some pics of a heron that comes to a pond at my work almost every day. He is quite friendly like the one you captured. I can walk behind him and get pretty close before he fly's away.

    I like the last one where he is diving underwater.

  18. #18

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    Re: Herons Revisited

    You nailed these, Christina. Nice job. That is an eel or some type of flat fish. We have them up here and I see diving birds catching them. The herons don't intentionally eat aquatic plants though they do scarf them up with fish once in a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by jprzybyla View Post
    ...The answer to WB affecting only the JPEG in Lightroom is no, the RAW image shown in the Develop Module shows the color temperature chosen by the Auto WB. That is why As Shot is the first on the drop down menu of choices.
    Joe, this is contrary to the references I've found on this topic. WB and Picture Control settings in NEF files aren't interpreted by LR according to stuff I've read by Kelby and Hogan. If you have found references to the contrary please share the links so I can be more thoroughly confused than I already am about LR

    On edit: is this possibly dependent on version of LR?

    This should be easy enough to test with a bit of thought...
    Last edited by NorthernFocus; 27th July 2013 at 04:04 AM.

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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    I returned to the heron tree, for one more try at capturing these birds in flight... Better but I've realized that to get a truly great shot with feather detail one has to get a lot closer, especially for a good full size photo.

    I had to use an iso of 1250 which is too high for my camera (Nikon D80 Manual SS 2000 A 5.6 )

    Herons Revisited


    From a different position... hoping for better light but I didn't notice the heavy shadow on the wings when photographing.

    Herons Revisited

    Different location and unfortunately I had my exposure set at -1...

    Herons Revisited

    Closer in a different location but he/she refused to fly...

    Herons Revisited

    And an odd one...

    Herons Revisited

    C&C always welcome but really I'm just sharing as a follow up to my progress on herons, ie; to show that I tried..
    Wow! Fantastic shots Christina.

    I guess with the superb quality of these images ( which I believe are on par if not above the quality of the other member's pictures of BIF.), people will now ask advice from you.

    Congratulations .


  20. #20
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    Re: Herons Revisited

    Thank you Ali, Dan and Victor...

    Ali, keep trying for that heron shot... As you can see I've taken some pretty bad shots, and worse ones are lurking about on the hard drive of my computer.

    Victor, I still have a ton to learn and one day I will be asking you about portraits

    Dan.. Thank you for letting me know that what I thought was seaweed is an eel... Good to know... All the more reason not to walk around there in bare feet.

    Dan.. I am having major trouble with my bear shots big black shadows on all my shots... I will post and I hope you can help me with my exposure.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 27th July 2013 at 04:59 AM.

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