Great Blue Heron In The Grasses

As we were driving along the Brigantine Wildlife Drive looking for photo subjects we came upon this Great Blue Heron standing in the Grasses. It was quite far out so I put a 2X Teleconverter on my 150-600mm lens to get a closer image. It came out fairly well considering the Tamron 150-600mm lens @ 600mm with a 2X teleconverter (1200mm) is somewhat pushing the sharpness of the lens & image. Stopping down more to f/16 helped quite a bit plus using more Sharpening in Camera Raw when adjusting my images also helped. Usually when using a Teleconverter, I stop down more than I usually do when not using a Teleconverter. For example – when using a 1.4X teleconverter I stop down 1 more f/stop than usual. When using a 1.7X or 2X Teleconverter I stop down 2 stops more than usual. I flattened my layers & duplicated the final layer to have a duplicate layer above my final layer. Using Filter > Other>High Pass Sharpening I had a Grayscale duplicate image above my final color layer. The Grayscale layer was then changed from Normal to Overlay in the layers palette and I lowered the opacity of the High Pass layer to about 40 percent opacity. This just adds a little more Crispness or Sharpness (on the image edges) since I was using a 2X Teleconverter on the Tamron 150-600mm Lens. When using a Grayscale High Pass layer technique it is best to not go too “heavy” on the opacity of High Pass layer. Usually I only go to 20% or 30% opacity on the High Pass layer, but really depends on the image you are working on. This technique can also help sharpness when printing images on an Ink Jet Printer which is basically spraying the ink. But for Inkjet printing I would lower the High Pass layer even a little more. It takes some practice but helps. In my old commercial photo studio before I retired we also did a lot of Wide Format printing for our Corporate & Advertising Agency clients. I had 2- 60″ wide HP Printers for indoor display & fine art graphics & 44″ & 63″ Epson Printers for outdoor graphics or indoor specialty medias. Give this technique a try, but do not overdo the opacity of the High Pass layer. Again it takes some practice, but comes in handy.

Great Blue Heron By Waters Edge

I was surprised on our visit to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine Division in Oceanville, NJ that there were quite a few Great Egrets & Great Blue Herons still around in January. The Featured Image was a 2 image portrait. It walked by me and was so close I wanted to show a little more of the neck. So I quickly shot 2 images @600mm for a pano portrait of the Heron. The images below are a series of images @ varying focal lengths as it was foraging in front of me.

Great Blue Heron, 150-600mm Tamron @329mm, Canon 1DmkIV
Great Blue Heron, 150-600mm Tamron @329mm, Canon 1DmkIV
Great Blue Heron, 150-600mm Tamron @ 256mm, Canon 1DmkIV
Great Blue Heron, 150-600mm Tamron @329mm, Canon 1DmkIV
Great Blue Heron, 150-600mm Tamron lens @ 226mm, Canon 1D mkIV

Great Blue Heron Panorama

A three horizontal image panorama of a Great Blue Heron. There times when I am out walking at a Wildlife Refuge when I come upon a photo subject that is too close for the lens I am carrying. In this instance I was walking along the Wildlife Drive near the entrance and saw this Great Blue Heron standing in the water. I was too close for the lens I had with me so I shot three overlapping horizontal images to combine for a vertical panorama. It seems rare when you are too close to get the whole bird in. Usually you do not have enough focal length for what you see and want photograph. If you can shoot a series of images quickly before the bird moves you can make some interesting panorama images. The Featured Image is 3 horizontal images taken with a 300mm lens on a Canon 7D. Assembled & blended in Photoshop. I usually always photograph from the head down for the series or the head then to side for however many images you need.

Great Blue Heron – Going, Going, Gone!

I was photographing this Great Blue Heron years ago at a local park early in the morning. I was using a 100-400mm Canon Zoom @ 400mm. It is amazing what they can swallow. Here It seemed to go down quickly. Other times I have seen them take up to 20 to 30 minutes to get their prey down. Also they seem to eat a wide variety of prey. I have them eat snakes, gophers, rats and other prey you would think impossible to swallow! And you would think some prey would be painful to swallow!

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Flying Great Blue Herons

It seems like Great Blue Herons just glide along in flight for being such a large bird. They do have quite a wide wingspan from ~ 5.5 to 6.6 ft. They can cruise @ 20-30 miles per hour. So they are fun photo subjects especially if they are flying around a small lake and you have long lenses!MG_2565GBH_CF_MG_2830GBH_v1_CFMG_2831MG_2833GBH_V1 CF_MG_2817fmGBH_FltBy_MG_2707

Blackwater NWR In The Fog

One of my favorite places to photograph is the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge Maryland. From Eagles, Ospreys, other birds, Dragonflies, Delmarva Fox Squirrels, stunning sunrises and sunsets, it is a great place to explore and photograph. It is a place you need to come prepared with a wide range of lenses since you never know what photo subjects you will come across. Because there are plenty of opportunities for a variety of photo opportunities. From macro, to landscapes, to Wildlife near and far. I guess that is why I enjoy being there. The main section to photograph is on the Wildlife Drive. Then the trails off the Wildlife Drive. But also there are miles of roads winding through the Refuge, but you really should not stop and photograph on those roads. It is fun to see the many Eagle Nests along them. There are a few boat launching areas you can stop at to photograph. Also the Tubman Trail which is down the road from the main Wildlife Drive areas, is also good for landscapes, Eagles and other birds. On this trip it was quite foggy when we got there. It was supposed to burn off a little later so it was fun to find some views and subjects to photograph in the heavy fog. Plus the Refuge was almost empty of other visitors, so it was an errie feeling to be pretty much alone in this large Refuge. The fog was actually worse than these images show. But I wanted to be able to show what I was photographing, so I added some contrast and adjusted the midtone levels in Photoshop to bring out a little more detail.

GBH in Fog v1 BWR _43G7994

Great Blue Heron FlyBy

Here are a few Great Blue Heron images taken on our Lake Woodruff NWR trip to Florida. As we were walking the trails I saw this Great Blue Heron coming by us. I was ready and got a few side view images that I liked showing an  angular side view. I thought it really showed the length and form of the Great Blue Egret as it flew by. This view also shows how large they really are when stretched out in flight. All images were @ 600mm, taken with a Tamron 150-600mm lens. I am really liking the Tamron lens. It produces great images with fine detail and is very versatile with the wide zoom range. Especially nice when you are walking and not wanting to carry a variety of lenses to cover what you might see to photograph along the way.

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Great Blue Heron FlyBy @600mm

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Winging Further Away @ 600mm

 

Great Blue Heron In Finis Pool @ Bombay Hook NWR

Towards the end of the Wildlife Drive at Bombay Hook is Finis Pool. Quite often you can get photos of turtles here along with ducks. On this day we found a cooperative Great Blue Heron that posed for us. We took a few images and then moved on to not disturb the Heron. Plus a couple of turtle images, since we were there. Here I was using a Canon R with a Tamron 150-600mm zoom.

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Great Blue Heron @ 600mm

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Great Blue Heron @ 428mm

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Great Blue Heron @ 600mm

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Great Blue Heron @ 600mm

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Turtle on Stump – Finis Pool – 600mm

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Turtles Warming In Sun – Finis Pool, 600mm

 

Great Blue Herons At Brigantine

While I was photographing Landscapes & Cloudscapes along the Wildlife Drive at the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, I noticed this Great Blue Heron behind some of the grasses along the Wildlife Drive. I got a few shots through the grasses and then the two Herons lower down in the water flew off. I got a few more shots as they flew away from me. I was surprised that during the day we saw quite a few Great Blue Herons throughout the Refuge. Usually most do not hang around in the cold weather but there were quite a few throughout the Refuge.

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Canon R, 400mm f/4 DO lens, 1.4x series III teleconverter

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Great Blue Herons At Blackwater NWR

It seems that a few Great Blue Herons always hang around at Blackwater NWR through the Winter. Usually most migrate out of the area but a few seem to stay in the area on the Refuge. On this trip I saw 3 Great Blues along the Wildlife Drive.

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Great Blue Heron watching for a meal. As I was watching he tried a few times with no luck. (400mm w/ 1.4x teleconverter)

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I stopped to photograph some Tundra Swans in the water and turned around and noticed this GBH in the tree behind and above me. (m43 Olympus @ 140mm)

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Great Blue Heron foraging in the dried grasses @ 400mm w/ 1.4x teleconverter.

 

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