Be ready to make the photo

I was at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm yesterday morning. There’s still a lot of activity going on with everything from eggs in nests to young birds flying around.  It’s definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been this year.

Tri-colored Heron with raised crest
Tri-colored Heron with raised crest

When you’re out photographing, you have look for conditions that will enhance your images.  You also need to think ahead and have your camera set-up and ready to go.  Otherwise, you’ll miss shots like the one above.

I saw this Tri-colored Heron and the first thing that struck me was the background.  A great deal of the time (especially at the Alligator Farm), birds are in among the bushes and there are usually  distracting twigs, trees, and other birds behind your subject.  A busy background will detract from your image quality.  I like to look for situations where there’s  space behind the bird and this one  had some.  I also thought that having my Sigma 150 – 500 OS lens set wide open would be enough to blur out the background.  I was a bit worried about the low light level, but I had a flash mounted to help so I made sure I had the right compensation dialed in.  I got into place, pre-zoomed, pre-framed,  and waited for the bird to strike a good pose.  When it raised its crest, I was able to make  two quick photos before it moved again.  I like the way this one turned out.  In the other, the beak is down and it’s not nearly as good a pose.

If I hadn’t seen the opportunity and been ready, I would have missed this photo.  Keep your eyes open and be ready!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

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