Eastern Reef Egret


Last rework! Wave moved along.

This is the white form of the Eastern Reef Egret photographed, funnily enough, on Heron Island, just off the Queensland coast. Often the dark slate coloured form was seen together.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any comments or criticisms are appreciated.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
ISO 500 100-400@320mm f5.6 1/6400

Conditions were scuddy, heavy rainstorms in between bright sunlight. Shot 8.15am

Basic ACR adjustments include Shadows lifted and Highlights reduced.

Hi Glenys
You can sit and wait, for what seem like hours for the Egret to open up their winds to get this photograph and it is always worth it. Great work.

The whites look very natural here and I love the upside-down preening action. Glad you sat long enough for it to do something besides stand and fish. Maybe a touch more contrast on the bird’s face would bring up some detail there. Not too much since the overall vibe is soft and gentle, but a little crispness could improve an already terrific shot.

Lovely catch!! And with the eye open! I love the pose, but wonder if the color cast is consistent with the cloudy lighting? Certainly possible, but for comparison here is a version with the whites neutralized (using the neutral eyedropper in Curves) then that layer reduced in opacity just a bit. Also did a brushed on soft-edged quick mask and made a masked Curves to lighten the face a bit and increase its contrast just a bit.

I really love the pose and composition, Glennis. Exposure on the whites looks excellent to me. I’m on a laptop, so I won’t try to assess color cast.

Glenys, this is an awesome catch. Perfect in the pose and positioning. It shows really nice avian behavior. Well done.

Thank you all for commenting with great suggestions. I had heaps of trouble with the colour cast. I think the yellowish cast in the shadow has come about from reflection off the rocks. I have lightened the face but will do so again.

Thanks Diane for taking the time to experiment! I will play some more.

I’ve now added the rework to the OP. I think it looks better. Thank you all for the nudge.

I have the frame directly after this one. Is it worth while doing a composite to lose the little wave under the birds head?

Hi Glennie. I like the repost a lot. I hadn’t noticed that little wave until you mentioned it and noe I can’t unnotice it! I think removing it would make a significant improvement.

I hadn’t really paid any attention to the wave, but probably good to remove it, or soften with low opacity cloning.

I think removing the little wave has made a very good improvement to the image. I’ve included the image in the the opening post.

I agree, Glennie. Removing the wave really made a difference.

Thank you Dennis. Good to know the wave removal has made a difference. And, it wasn’t hard to do.