Monday, March 5, 2012



I had my second blog post idea sort of planned, but life sometimes throws you a detour.  The detour had to do with  my BBFF (best bird friend forever) the great blue heron.  I had decided to take a walk at Shelby Farms Park today, and, lo and behold, this bird beckoned me from just a few yards away from my parked car.   Depending on your outlook, this bird is either a scourge, or a magnificent specimen.  It is the second largest bird in the USA, with a wingspan of, well heck, here is the  Wikipedia reference
I am not one of these purist photographers.  I actually like to switch to video at times.  In Murphy's law fashion, I generally am in video mode when the bird is stationary, and photo mode when the bird decides to get skittish and fly away.  Whatever mode I am in, most of my flying heron shots have the heron flying away from me, which I try not to take it personally.   No videos today, but these photos were what the great blue heron was willing to give me today.

As a side note, one of the plusses to the flying bird shot is it is backlit. Backlit means that the camera is facing the light, and the light kind of curls around the subject. I didn’t tell the heron which way to fly, but it happened to be backlit, and I went with it. What choice did I have?  

For these photos, I set my camera mode to “P” (aperture priority) .   You won't find much technical stuff here, and that isn’t the purpose of the blog anyway.   

I used automatic mode only for at least a year after I took up digital photography. I learned that light sometimes washed out the subjects if it was too bright.. To keep that from happening, I changed the exposure, dialing it back a notch or two, and then did a few tweaks with the photo processing software that I use. These photos look dark for a reason--I generally like darker photos for birds, because they seem to show more detail. The flying heron is probably a bit too dark even for my tastes, but it isn't one of my better flying herons shots anyway. Oh, after the heron flew away, I got to start my walk, and happened across a cardinal. This is a great time of year for bird photos, as the leaves aren’t out on the trees. Get busy everyone! No excuses—it is starting to get warmer. If the cardinal can maneuver around this thorny tree branch, you can put on your hiking shoes and start stalking birds.

I just started a photo site on SmugMug.  This is time consuming setting it up, but I probably have about half my photos that I plan to put on it already there.  And I am still in the trial period.  Check out that FotoFiler Gallery link to the right of this post.  The photos should be in a bit higher resolution there, but I also link a gallery of some photos from today below. 
And if you are interested in how I became interested in digital photography, please go back to the February 2012 post-- 
How Digital Photography Saved My Marriage
If you would like to see these photos I took today in a bit higher resolution, check them out in "This Month's Photos" in my gallery here--  

This Month's Photos

Check back here in a week or two or three and I should have the next post composed.


  1. Great shots, P. We were just in South Africa and saw some amazing birds -- but my feeble attemps will not come close to what you've done here. Too bad!

  2. Lee, that sounds fun! I'm jealous. I want to see your bird pictures, and any other photos of the trip.

    Did you realize that I linked to your cooking blog at the end of my first post? I had to give you credit because I ended it with a recipe.