Great Blue Heron Flyby

Great Blue Heron

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A Great Blue Heron tired of standing around suddenly jumped up and started flying. He had been standing to the right of my vision for 30 minutes or so, doing absolutely nothing. In the meantime, I was wading around in the water at the North Beach Lagoon in Ft. De Soto, trying to isolate one or two of the Marbled Godwits. They weren’t cooperating and were determined to stay well bunched up, just like in the photo.

Lucky for me, the Great Blue Heron took off heading right across me. I managed to get off 5 frames, but he was moving faster than I was panning. This was the first frame, and is also the best of the series.

We stayed in Pass-a-Grille for four weeks this year, so I was able to spend many days at Ft. De Soto. It rarely disappoints, and this was a good day with me getting a lot of keepers. I’ll post some other photos as I work through them. My first count was just over 10,000 frames in the six weeks we spent between Sanibel and Pass-a-Grille. I’ve got them weeded down to about 800 now, and hope to end up with 50 that I really like.

This Great Blue Heron shot was taken about 10:30 AM, with the sun well up and shadows very strong. To counter the strong shadow under the wing of the Great Blue Heron, I lightened the wing underside with a layer mask set to “lighten” in Photoshop. I also cloned out a couple of out of focus fence posts in the background, and finished up with a little adjustment on a curves layer. The image itself is about 98% of the original frame, as I lost only a little bit in leveling the horizon. Finally, did some noise reduction to the whole image and then smart sharpening to the Great Blue Heron only.

Nikon D4 with 600mm and 1.4 TC for 850mm., tripod mounted. 1/1600 sec., f7.1, iso 800.

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9 Responses to Great Blue Heron Flyby

  1. Brigita Clementi

    Beautiful !

  2. gale morgan

    Just wonderful and boy could I do with some of that warmth and sun right now! I ask myself “why, oh why, did we leave Florida so soon!!!” NE Spring just sucks! Gale

  3. Charlotte Hughes

    Great shot….another reason to live in Florida!

  4. John Kelly

    So it looks like you’re back down in Florida. Good sound thinking. I looks like the blue heron was tired of you focusing on the Godwits. So the little show off decided to do the fly by to attract your attention. Good reflexes on you part to catch him in flight. Wondering where you are down there. Did you buy or rent?

    • Always good to hear from you, John. We are spending a little more time every year in Florida. Came home a couple of weeks ago and it hasn’t stopped raining since! One of these days spring will show up here in Massachusetts. We’ve opted to just rent, at least for now. This year we spent 2 weeks in Sanibel and 4 weeks in Pass-a-Grille.

  5. Russ Jennings

    Hi John, thanks for keeping me on your e-mail list.
    All is now well here in North Carolina.
    Pat has had some real serous medical problems but is now doing well.
    keep up the great photo work.
    Hi to Darcy for us.

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