Jerry Biddlecom  

Cooling Off by Jerry Biddlecom

September 2023 - Cooling Off

September 2023 - Jerry Biddlecom


About the Image(s)

There is a fifty acre water preserve near West Palm Beach, Florida, which is called Wakodahatchee Wetlands (Wako {wack-o} for short}, run by the local water district, and has been a mecca for photographers as it has featured a wide variety of birds. I say 'has' because storks have pretty much taken over much of the area and formerly abundant varieties such as egrets and herons have been pushed back to small enclaves. This picture was taken from quite a distance away and featured a great egret taking a bath, and he seemed to be really enjoying it. In Photoshop I first cropped in, darkened the background so that the bird would stand out, then reversed the image. I used ON1 FX to help with sharpness and contrast. Taken with my Nikon D500 using a 200-500 mm lens (taking advantage of the crop factor of the D500. It was a bright day, so I could keep the ISO settings low while using a shutter speed of around 1,200 fps, hand held, using the railing of the boardwalk to stabilize somewhat.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
5 comments posted

Bruce Benson   Bruce Benson
Hey Jerry, I have been to Florida every year for about ten years and have heard about wack-o from several photographers but have never made the trip there. Florida is one of my favorite places to photograph since I want to spend my time shooting and not hunting for opportunities. I really like the reflection you captured and you have done a good job darkening the distracting background. For my taste I might make the background just a bit lighter. Bruce   Posted: 09/04/2023 22:21:59

Adrian Binney   Adrian Binney
Jerry, you have created a striking image here with your PP work. You captured it well with interesting feather detail and movement helping to make it clear what it is doing. To me, it looks striking, yes, but is no longer believable as what the bird looked like when taken. I find it just a tad too punchy, particularly its eye. This I know is personal preference.   Posted: 09/11/2023 03:21:05

Tom Buckard   Tom Buckard
(Groups 21 & 48 & 71)
Jerry, absolutely stunning. Love the low key! Wouldn't change a thing.   Posted: 09/13/2023 10:02:29

Cindy Marple   Cindy Marple
First, you caught a nice moment of action with a good wing position and all the water drops above the back. The action isn't completely frozen which helps to imply motion.
Flipping this was a good choice from a composition perspective, as the eye is now led in by the back of the bird and goes right to the eye.
I personally love the dark background, the high contrast adds drama and helps with the mood and story.
Good work!   Posted: 09/15/2023 09:33:38

Marge Barham   Marge Barham
Jerry, I love your shot. The flip and the water drops and of course the feather detail is fantastic. You did a great job editing to be able to get so much more detail in the tail feathers. Would you share your camera settings?

  Posted: 09/18/2023 23:24:34