Great Blue Heron Pair-for the dramatic pose


It is not often, rather never before, that I post an image I feel is lacking in sharpness. However, I think we all have those images taken over the years that every time we run into them again you have that pang of regret that you missed because of such a wonderful pose or composition. This picture from 2012 is one of those images for me. Looking at it I still remember the sound of the powerful wing beat as this Great Blue Heron flew in with a twig for its mate to work into the nest they were building. I thought the image of the Great Blue Heron male dropping in with wings positioned as they are quite magnificent. I love the way the feathers are curled and ruffled by the wind in landing , the way the wind separates them,  the way the alula portion tips upwards from the flight feathers, and the spread of the tail feathers..  Add to the birds a backdrop deepening blue of a potential threatening sky, it was a shame to miss in the fast action of the pair.

To try and clarify some in order to share the image I did used an old Photoshop artistic filter called poster edges, not to posterize, but to drop a little ink on the edges. I also made some color and contrast adjustments for clarity. However, close scrutiny will reveal the lack of sharp focus on the birds.  In hopes you enjoy the idea of this image. And, sure there are many other opportunities to take more images of nesting Great Blue Herons, but I also find that looking for exactly something to happen in the exact same way again no matter the subject is not very likely. Every run at it will bring something entirely new and fresh and life isn’t meant for things to happen just the same or even to dwell unduly on your misses.

Live, Learn, and Look Forward to the Next!!



~ by Judy on June 11, 2017.

25 Responses to “Great Blue Heron Pair-for the dramatic pose”

  1. Great imagery, even if not perfectly sharp.

    • Thanks for that. Funny how that picture has popped up from time to time and been sadly rejected by me to show due to focus issues. But, then, what the heck, it is a great scene!! I still go after the mating pair nesting scenes whenever I can.

  2. It’s a nice photo, well done. I’d like to hear those powerful wings at work. I’m not a pro, but I try to get my photos regardless of what they are, as clear as possible. Those from my iPhone are just what they are, love my Nikon.

    • Yeah, the sound of those big wings powering through the air is such a wonderful thing. My hearing is pretty well shot and one of the sounds I do miss is that chorus of sound made by Great Blue Heron chicks in a rookery crying out for a nice meal of fish juice from mom or dad. I am glad you enjoyed the photo. If I were a painter I’d probably want to paint that scene.

  3. Even a not-too clear image, for me, trumps none! Thanks for sharing how you nudge the images for better viewing pleasure! That, too, is an art…

    • Well,that is certainly true! However, sometimes I do have to work to stay with that positive thought in that I always want the best it could be. What I generally hope for an image is that all I need to do is attend to color, contrast, light…the basics….well and if it is something that I can forsee as a portrait or maybe a frameable thing….say something you’d paint, the eliminate the kind of distractions you would not have painted in were there choice.

      • That’s the joy of drawing or painting= look through/past the clutter and focus on what’s important… in a way, working with the photos could be more challenging….

      • I always felt that way a little bit, that the painter has complete control of the composition and that a photograph just helps to document what things looked like. When I shoot my goal has always been to capture a pose or portrait as one would want to paint it. That is probably why I like a well lit subject against a darker background. That looks more painterly to me…something you might want to frame and hang. One habit I have had with lighthouse shots was that I wanted them totally natural with that edge of the world feel. So I would go through a lot of work to clone out things like power lines which might be in view. Then I saw some paintings of the exact same lighthouses I was shooting and the artist painted in the power lines. I really laughed. So a photographer does have control of what gets left in or out but it is work, but then paintings are work as you so well described about your Muir Tree. A painter has to make decisions too…paint in, paint out….clone out, leave in!! It is a process!

      • I laughed too about the artist painting in the power lines! Maybe he/she thought it gave it strength or directed the eye into the scene…

  4. Wow, it’s a fantastic image Judy, I can understand why you love this even if you didn’t capture it in the way you wanted to.

    • Thanks. I had hoped that the pose itself might make it worth the view.Things happen so fast in the field that getting yourself aimed properly can be a challenge.

  5. This is almost heraldic in its form and lines. I want to cut it out and stick it on a shield!

  6. If I didn’t post any images that weren’t technically perfect, I never would have posted an image yet. Striving for perfection is good, but it’s also true that technique can suck the life out of art. Besides, nature herself has no sharp edges. Right now, the view out my window is blurred by condensation. The chirping of the cardinals is muffled by boat traffic. The flight of the birds is only a blur. Capturing life in a lively way is the important thing, and that’s what you’ve done here. I could go looking for those not-so-sharp edges if I wanted to, but I don’t want to. I’d rather enjoy the remarkable image!

  7. Very dramatic~!

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