Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron stands at the edge of the rushing waters of the James River

The James river is currently experiencing some not-insignificant flooding due to several days of heavy rain, causing the water to be a bit more “rapid in the rapids” than normal, to coin a phrase.

Great Blue Herons are fun to photograph due to the fact that unlike most photographic subjects, these magnificent birds can actually hold a pose during a long exposure.

I set my camera to the longest exposure I could get without taking the time to put some neutral density filters on my 400mm lens and not setting the aperture of the lens so small as to risk degrading sharpness. This image was taken at 1/5th of a second @ f/18 using my Nikon D800 and an 80-400mm zoom lens. I like how this gave me the blurred water I wanted in the background, yet the Heron is just as sharp as you please.

I like finding wildlife in spots like this: with dappled early-morning or late-evening sunlight shining through trees. It makes for some wonderful uneven light throughout the image.

Taken on May 17th, 2014.

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