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on May 28, 2014 in Wildlife Photography

Just Open Up

Great Blue Heron 1641

The Great Blue Heron, there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of wildlife photographers who owe they start in wildlife photography to this bird! Big, good lookin and for the most part, very cooperative, they are one of the first subjects wildlife photographers find and shoot and shoot. So to say there are lots of common photos of the GBH might be putting it lightly. Well, if you want to move your photography forward, you’re looking for the uncommon. You can start by putting your GBH in front of a clean background like you see here, I nice clean blue with a touch of green is a great start. It tells about the world in which it lives, makes it visually pop and compliments its color. But this is just a step into making the uncommon from the common.

Great Blue Heron 1648

That’s when a little biology can really make a difference. You can see here the two photos and make the call which is more interesting, I’m betting it’s the bottom photo. One thing about GBH is they don’t do a lot of “biologically” interesting stuff other than feed, crap and fly. But after they eat, if the prey they munched it largish, they have to work it down their crop. It’s this process that they pop open their bill to work down the prey. In this case, it was stuck pretty good so the GBH popped his bill looking left and then looking right. Now why does this make the common, uncommon? Well, GBH tend to not eat items that cause this problem. At the same time, having the light, background and biology come together at the same time cuts down the odds as well. So getting the shot requires knowing that this is possible, have your finger on the button and willing to rip when the action happens. Just another technique to put in your arsenal aiming at the viewer’s heartstrings!