Al Swanson  

Wading Heron by Al Swanson

August 2022 - Wading Heron

August 2022 - Al Swanson


About the Image(s)

I shot this image in March while we were in Arizona. There is a nature preserve in Gilbert, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix which hosts several large ponds specifically set aside as a nature preserve. The ponds are made of recycled water. I’ve been there a few times in the past and there’s always a rich assortment of waterfowl to photograph. I shot this crane and really thought it was a great subject with the reflection and proximity of reeds. I took it into Photoshop and brightened it as well as adjust contrast, and then into Studio 2 to sharpen and further enhance the image. I finally applied a peeling paint look to provide the vignette and texture the background. Because it was shooting waterfowl I set my ISO at 1250. The same for my shutter speed. I was using my 70 x 300 mm lens and shot this at 300 mm, F 20.

6 comments posted

Peggy Reeder   Peggy Reeder
You have done a beautiful job of finishing this image! I love the subtle colors and tones. You have brought out the textures of the bird's feathers, both in the body and in the reflection, which gives it almost an etched appearance. This would make a great print. Well done Al!!
  Posted: 08/01/2022 11:27:51
Al Swanson   Al Swanson
Thank you. I took your recommendation early and actually had this printed on canvas and I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. The texture of the canvas seems to enhance the overall appearance of the bird. People have commented that the print on canvas really looks like an oil painting.   Posted: 08/03/2022 15:11:40

Marti Buckely   Marti Buckely
Very nice work, Al. I would imagine it would be great on a canvas. I like the way my eye goes from his head and curves down his back and then into the reflection. You have taken a decent image of the heron and turned it into an art masterpiece.   Posted: 08/03/2022 21:54:25

Joseph J Zaia   Joseph J Zaia
Yes, well done Al. I agree with Peggy and Marti. The image has a dimension of its own. The colors blend in nicely and it has a pleasing look, not only as a painting, but as an etching as well. I am sure the texture of the canvas is perfect for it.   Posted: 08/04/2022 12:24:34

Jerry Biddlecom   Jerry Biddlecom
We here in south Florida have a similar set up near West Palm Beach called Wakodahatchee Wetlands, or Wako, for short. It's actually a water treatment facility that has been a Mecca for photographers; however, it has lately been taken over by wood storks, and a lot of the herons and egrets are gone. Nice job on finishing the picture -- it does have a water color look to it, and the way you have made the vignette adds a nice effect.   Posted: 08/09/2022 11:19:10

Kaylyn Franks   Kaylyn Franks
I really like the capture of the heron, crisp and clean. The colors of the finished print have the appearance of water color. There is a bright spot in the upper right and a orange spot in the lower left I'd like to see cloned out or blended to present a total pastel look.   Posted: 08/14/2022 12:19:20


Please log in to post a comment