Anne Nettles  

Snowy Egret by Anne Nettles

May 2021 - Snowy Egret

May 2021 - Anne Nettles


About the Image(s)

This Snowy Egret was photographed a couple of weeks ago. One of my goals over the next year is to hone my skills as a bird photographer hopefully. That would include getting familiar with bird behaviors and identifying habitat locations. I am working on capturing better detail and not blowing the highlights on white birds. I find for me, I sometimes get so excited about the scene, I forget about all the options I have to better capture the scene. Hindsight is 20/20! Since the subject is moving bracketing was not an option. I realize now, I should have adjusted my exposure compensation somewhere between an 1/3 of a stop to a full stop in order to underexpose the brightest whites. I increased the sharpness, set the camera profile, and then exported the image from LR to PS. I used content aware to remove the branch that was too close to his beak. For me, that closeness created tension. Perhaps others feel different. I burned the edges to create a vignette and concentrate the viewer's eye on the main subject. I decided to go with the rule of composition for wildlife that says it is better to have the subject looking back into the frame, than looking out--I flipped the image horizontally. Love to hear your thoughts.

1 comment posted

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
(Groups 35 & 52)
Hi Anne. I am visiting you from Group 52 Nature Plus at Andrew's request. I live in the south and we have egrets around most of the time, so they are a frequent subject for me. The are magnificent birds and worthy subjects. Your image looks sharp to me; my highest priority in bird photography is the eye and I think you have got it spot on as far as focus goes. In my opinion, the original image works better than the processed one. I like the warmer tones better than the cool ones, and I feel that you have lost some detail in the feathers particularly on the shoulder of the bird. Since you have not indicated your lens choice or settings, I can only tell you what I have found works best with the equipment I use. First I choose the widest aperture my lens will allow. You have probably used a pretty wide aperture judging by the nice bokeh I see in the background. For a sitting bird under normal conditions I would start with ISO 800 and a shutter speed of 1/500 sec. and then check my histogram. It sounds like you are using Av mode, so your camera is choosing the shutter speed. You can adjust ISO to get the shutter speed you need. But again, the histogram will tell you what to do. Exposure compensation basiclly does the same thing. I am puzzled by your idea that flipping the image has the bird looking into the frame...I think he is looking out of the frame either way, just in a different direction. To have him looking into the frame you would need more space in front of the subject - the rule of thumb is twice as much space in front as behind. Overall, I think you have a nice capture and I would suggest you play around with the post processing more. Also, if you ar enot submitting this for a nature competition you can always add canvas in fron of the egret to have it looking into the frame.   Posted: 05/10/2021 14:29:19


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