Great Blue Heron with a big fish.
(1/60th, f/4, 400mm, ISO 400)
There's a spot at Blackwater Refuge where herons often hunt. Approaching herons at the refuge is a fairly straight forward thing - stay in your car and don't move too fast, and you won't spook them. I shot the above from my car, and managed to shoot the heron for around 20 minutes. He caught a few fish, smaller ones earlier, and then finally caught this big one. It took him more than 5 minutes to eat it.
I shot these at some pretty slow shutter speeds, and hand held (resting on hand and window's edge). I like the motion, but it is tough to get a lot of keepers. These were shot at around sunrise, and the heron was in a shaded spot. As the light gradually increased I did up the shutter speed but still only a little. Adding the movement, while still not *blurry* I think adds to it nicely.
For sunrise and lower light situations I'm going to continue to work with the slower shutter speeds. I'd have preferred to be on a tripod, but that would have scared off the heron...
BTW, Congrats to Pat Ulrich on the denfenders.org contest.
Nikographer.com / Jon
Wednesday, April 7, 2010