Painting – Great Blue Heron
I’ve had great response to this particular image. It was one of those rare moments when all the photo gods were in agreement. This image was captured at Parque Ecologico del Poniente (Ecological Park West) here in Merida, Yucatan last week.
As is my custom when shooting the wildlife here, I was on location shortly after sunrise. This particular park is home to this spectacular example of a large Great Blue Heron, an equally attractive Great Egret and a much smaller Green Heron. They are all wild, and not held captive in any way.
The lighting was problematic (though becoming increasingly beautiful). The Sun was very low in the East, having just risen above the horizon. That beautiful, muted-soft, golden-light we photographers ramble on so much about … the Golden Hour … as we say. The pond itself was in deep shadow causing me to shoot at a slower shutter speed than I would have normally liked.
I was watching the first golden rays of Sun reaching out towards the lily pads, with their lotus blossoms, when out of the corner of my eye I caught movement from this huge bird. I swung around, grabbed focus, and began shooting at almost 4 fps (frames per second) on continuous drive. Panning his flight, I caught him flaring out his wings as he settled into the water. I managed about 6 images, but this was the best. Tack sharp with my 400mm super telephoto lens, no motion blur and almost perfect exposure.
I love the way he is facing into the Sun illuminating his head, neck and breast. The bonus was having the lotus blossoms well lighted with the same wonderful morning light. The rest of his body, and outstretched wings are in shadow, but retain exquisite feather detail and color rendition. That’s what I mean when I say the photography gods were all in agreement … it just doesn’t get any better.
The final image ‘looks like’ it might have been heavily processed in Photoshop post-edit, but nothing could be further from the truth. All I did in post-edit was to crop (trim) the image, apply minimal sharpening (required on all digital images) and just a dab of contrast. Absolutely no color enhancement whatsoever. This image pretty much appears as it originally came out of the camera.
The resolution is so good on this image that it can be printed LARGE, and still retain all of its intricate detail. The photo print itself can be printed from 10 x 6 inches all the way up to 48 x 32 inches (approximately 4 x 2.5 feet). This is just the print size excluding matting and framing. I am offering this print in two versions: Version I, converted to a Classic Oil Painting effect; Version II, the straight photograph. I like both. Which would look better on your wall. Hit the (Click Here) button under each image to view details; click the image itself to enlarge and isolate.
Photograph – Great Blue Heron
Special note: To my Merida customers, please contact me personally for pricing and delivery information (Stephen.Dennstedt@YMail.Com).