Sunrise and Wading Egret – Persistance Pays

A few of us from the Photography Interest Group drove over to Black Point Wildlife Drive yesterday morning.  We had one new member with us and for the first half of the loop we were all a bit worried about the lack of good photo opportunities — although I had made one sunrise photo that I like.

Swampy sunriseSwampy sunrise

We didn’t see many birds at first and the water level was down a bit.   I’m not sure why since I think we’ve had a good amount of rain lately. Perhaps it was due to tides.

We were more than half way around the loop when we came up on two pools on the left hand side with a lot of bird activity. It turns out there were large numbers of small minnows in the pools and a variety of herons, ibis and egrets were flying back and forth between the pools feeding on the fish. Situations like this provide a wonderful  opportunity for photographers. Just as in the nest building scenario I wrote about a few weeks ago, the birds act in a somewhat predictable, repeatable way. You can study them and place yourself in good light and to show the birds’ activity in their environment. I was looking for something a little different and spotted this break in the reeds with the sun coming over my shoulder. I only had to wait a little while for an obliging Snowy Egret to pose between the reeds for me.  Now, if it had only raised its crest!

Little Egret

Snowy Egret Posing

Remember when you’re making photos of very white birds like this to check your histogram. Make sure your exposure isn’t blowing out the white highlights so that you preserve detail in the feathers.  If you do have pixels up against the right side of the histogram, use a little negative exposure compensation to move them back toward the left.

Once again patience and persistence paid off for us and everyone in the group had a chance at some very good photos.  I’ve also written here before about not putting your camera away until you’re back in the car.  Yesterday was another example of this very important rule!

Click on either of the photos above to go to Flickr, where you can view them larger.  You can also see other photos I’ve made at Black Point in this set on Flickr.

©2010, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

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