Wednesday, April 7, 2010

GBH w/ big fish at Blackwater Refuge


Great Blue Heron with a big fish.

Lemme Go!

(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 contest.

-50- / Jon



Pat Ulrich said...

Very cool shot, Jon! that's quite a big catch for the heron. I like the longer shutter speed too -- it really helps to convey the craziness of what I imagine that scene must have been as the heron wrangled the fish.

And thanks for the congrats as well! I'm really excited to have placed 2nd!