ImageSpotlight: Tri-colored Heron (Breeding Plumage)

Tri-colored Heron.

Tri-colored Heron.

This tri-colored heron was actively feeding along a pond at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, Texas. The afternoon was fantastic and the light was great. The challenge was in isolating the bird away from the many great and snowy egrets that were also foraging in the area. I photographed those as well but I particularly liked the colors of this heron with the bright blue beak, dark red legs, and rusty brown throat. The minnow in the beak was an added bonus. Private ranch photography in South Texas is perhaps the ultimate because of the control one has in the surroundings; however, there are many great images to be had at local and state parks. One only has to be determined to get out there and photograph.

Until next time, good light and keep shooting. –KEVIN

 

ImageSpotlight: Great Blue Heron Wingspan

Great Blue Heron. Canon 7D | 500/4.5 | ISO 400

Great Blue Heron. Canon 7D | 500/4.5 | ISO 400

This great blue heron image was taken earlier this year in a local park frequented by joggers and cyclists…and an occasional wildlife photographer. ūüôā ¬†While it appears to be wading in a pond, it is actually and area that had just accumulated water because of heavy rains. Surprisingly, it held this water for a couple months and attracted ducks, egrets, and this heron. I spooked this Great Blue Heron getting into my spot but after about 15 minutes, he flew back and I was ready. He stretched out his wings and gave me an awesome pose.

Until next time, good light and keep shooting. –KEVIN

Shoot Anyway!

Abandoned Catholic Church - Artistic

Abandoned Rural Church РArtistic.    Click on the image to fully appreciate.

Sometimes, you plan for a photo shoot and when the day arrives, the light is horrible. On this particular day, I was hoping to get a colorful sunset and awesome clouds but what I got instead was a dreary dull¬†sky. Of course, I knew that was going to be my fortune as I was driving out to this rural church but I had set out to photograph it and I was not going to¬†throw in the towel because mother nature was not her kindest. Of course, there were other options as these dull overcast days are a great time to shoot macro. But, I wanted that church and I’m just stubborn enough to go and shoot anyway. The image below was what I captured in camera and¬†I’ll be the first to say, not the best. So, I put it in the files thinking that someday I might be able to do something with it.

Abandoned Rural Church.

Abandoned Rural Church.

Fast forward about 3 years and I finally decided that an image like this could potentially look good as a black & white. Having recently discovered Nik software’s Silver Effex Pro, I decided to have a go. I made numerous local contrast and structure adjustments to the sky and grass in front. I thought the¬†fence was an eye sore so I¬†removed it. I added a red filter to the entire scene then finished the processing in Photoshop. The image below was the black & white conversion. The image at the very top of this post was an artistic rendering using Photoshop’s Oil Filter, which I really enjoy using.

Abandoned Rural Church - B & W rendering in Silver Effex Pro.

Abandoned Rural Church – B & W rendering in Silver Effex Pro.

Of the three images, I favor the artistic rendering the most, but the grungy look in the B&W also works for me. So when the day comes to shoot and the light¬†is anything but perfect….shoot anyway.

Until next time, good light and keep shooting. –KEVIN

ImageSpotlight: Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron.  Canon 7D | 500/4.5

Great Blue Heron. Canon 7D | 500/4.5

During a quick visit to Texas last June, I ventured out one morning to South Padre Island. I’ve always had good luck at this location and the morning would not let me down. While a bit slow by a “good day” standard, my patience was rewarded as this Great Blue Heron began to fish in front of me. I managed a series of images of this particular sequence and this is one I particularly liked and made the drive well worth it.

Until next time, good light and keep shooting. — KEVIN