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Great Blue Heron - 9

Great Blue Heron - 9
Copyright ©2007, Leon Plympton
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Another day at Paynes Prairie ...

It was overcast and quite gusty but all and all, not a bad day. I kept getting closer and closer to this GBH, until finally it had enough of me and took to its wings ...

Photographer: Leon Plympton
Folder: Common area
Uploaded: 21-Apr-2007 23:11 CEST
Current Rating: 7.50/2
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Model release available:
Camera: Olympus E1
Exposure time: 1/1000
Aperture: f-5.6
Focal length: 150 (300) mm
Focusing method: Spot
ISO: 200
White balance: Auto
Flash: no
Image format: SHQ
Processing applied: Cropped and re-sized
Image resized to: 600x800

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I like this one the most in this series of yours specially because of the timing to take off and the water trail behind his legs,Good Shot.

syed noman at 01:21 CEST on 22-Apr-2007 [Reply]


Hi Leon. Exelent shot, with good timing. I thought that it would make a good B&W, lifting the GBH from the background, so I captured and converted it by getting the Blue chan, converting it to Gray, then using curves to increase the contrast. It worked to a point, but the resolution it too low to do it justice. TIY. Mike

Mike Babson at 12:09 CEST on 22-Apr-2007 [Reply]

Great Blue Heron - 9

G'Day Syed:

Thanks once again for you kind words. Getting to know the birds' behaviors is most helpful in capturing shots like this. As I approached the outer limit of its comfort zone I made sure that I (read that: my camera) was ready. By the time it was about to launch I had the camera up to my face and continued to take baby steps in its direction - knowing it wouldn't be long before takeoff. Once the bird launches I'm no longer walking. At this point I'm doing my best to keep the camera's three auto-focus sensors on the bird so I don't lose focus. If/when the auto-focus begins to search it's game over.


Leon Plympton at 12:31 CEST on 22-Apr-2007 [Reply]

Great Blue Heron - 9

G'Day Mike:

Thanks for the kind words. Yes; it was a low-contrast day - quite overcast and the wind was quite blustery, which made it rather difficult to keep the auto-focus sensors on the bird. As for the resolution, I'm hoping the E-1 replacement will remedy this.

I wanted to fill the frame as best I could from wing-tip to wing-tip. To do so I initially cropped the photo-file (1600 by 1200), then re-sized it to its current proportions.


Leon Plympton at 12:40 CEST on 22-Apr-2007 [Reply]

Great Blue Heron - 9

G'Day Shelley:

Thank you so very much for your assessment. I agree; there is something about the launch that gets the adrenaline flowing. By the time the bird horizontal and gliding they're on 'cruise-control' and there's very little excitement in that.

As for being patient - I can be sloth-like when need be ;-) However, this capture was more about knowing GBHs' behavior. At this location they are rather accustom to people being relatively close and not harming them. They tend to go about their business and just keep an eye on us stereoscopic color-vision bi-pedal hominids with opposing thumbs and hands filled with cameras, walking sticks and other implements.

It's only when we get too close that their internal alarm system goes berserk and they take to their wings. Even so, after they launch they generally fly only 50-100 meters before landing and beginning their quest for food once again. Conversely, at Newnans Lake (just a couple miles away) if you can get within 100 meters of a GBH they obviously haven't detected you yet.

As for the low contrast, you are quite correct. I have since dabbled with some post processing; the end result is that the GBH is slightly darker but this makes it stand out more against the background. Once again - thank you.


Leon Plympton at 12:33 CEST on 23-Apr-2007 [Reply]