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Great Egret
Apple Pie Ridge, Lousiana

Great Egret
Apple Pie Ridge, Lousiana
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Peer Award
photoABSTRACTION tbohn71 ElenaDelfini papareg zannybc TLTownsend
Top Choice
MRAngerer pietnel
Magnificent Capture
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Outstanding Creativity
Superb Composition
Absolute Masterpiece

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Animals In Black And White Photo ContestTop 10 class
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Wildlife Portraits Photo ContestTop 20 class
Wildlife Portraits Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
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The Color White Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class week 2
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1Top 10 class week 1


Behind The Lens

This photo was taken just after dawn on the Louisiana / Mississippi border. It was REALLY foggy and we were driving along a slightly inland highway when we ran across a small lake covered with magnificent birds like this great egret. We drove by too fast so I made my husband swing back around and I spent the next hour as the sun rose taking photos of the wildlife covering the lake. This was just one of the shots I came home with.
It was just past dawn on a foggy morning. To make matters worse I was hand holding the camera as I didn't want to disturb the birds buy setting up a tripod. I found a quite perch on a rock behind a tree and slowly worked my lens across the small lake photographing the array of birds in the water. This particular one was standing on a log just peeking out of the water.
I wanted to capture the dark foggy environment enveloping the lake but instead captured a rich dark background that offset the egret beautifully. Sometimes you end up with happy mistakes.
I was shooting with an old Canon Rebel XT with a brand new Tamron 16-300 all-in-one lens that I was just learning to use.
I was hoping to get some good shots of these seemingly illusive, but magnificent, birds. To find so many of them along the road we were traveling was such a happy coincidence. It was the first time we had been in that area of the country in more than 30 years and being able to bring home some shots like this one made the trip of more than 5000 miles an unforgettable one.
Post processing included lightening up the shadows to bring out the log the egret is standing on and the highlights of the lake water. It also allowed the vaguest outline of the tree trunks on the far side of the lake to show so the background wasn't a solid black. Also, because I was hand holding the camera I had to sharpen the face and feathers of the bird to eliminate some of the "fussiness" created by my less than steady hand in a really bad lighting situation.
In my camera bag
While I still carry my old reliable Rebel XT it is currently fitted with a macro setup. My Tamron lens now lives happily on a newer Canon 70D that has better pixel density allowing me to capture more details and sharper images -- important because I hate using a tripod and hand hold my camera 95% of the time because I move around too much. I go after the shots rather than wait for them to come to me. I have always preferred to capture the spontaneity of the moment rather than taking the time to "set up" an image. I often employ a polarizing filter when shooting in bright sun and have recently added a neutral density filter to the "stuff" I carry with me.
When traveling, shoot more than the places and people in the spots you visit. There are amazing photo opportunities along the roads you venture as well as off the beaten path. If you see something amazing (like the birds we found in this lake) take the time to stop and capture what you encounter, you will be richer for doing so even if you lose some time out of your day that you did not anticipate.

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