Early morning, when the herons are most active. Very low sun. Taken from my kayak.

Specific Feedback Requested

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D500. 1/750 @ f6.7. Center-weighted exposure. Group auto-focus. Sigma 100-400mm @ 260mm. Processed in Aperture.

Michael, I really like your composition, the pose of the bird and the water drops arching from the pond to the bird are really great. Here are two improvements you may want to try: 1) darken the very bottom of the image where the specular highlights are so bright and 2) with the two grasses that are cut off at the top of the frame, maybe darken the tops of the grass so they no longer appear to be cut off.

Very pleasing composition here with nice lighting. I agree with Carol with respect to both of her issues. The other issue is the horizon is several degrees clockwise from what it should be. Look at the riverbank and level out that line.

Hi Michael! This is a really nice capture. The comp, lighting, timing, etc. are great. The suggestions above would definitely improve it but I like it as is too. Well done!

Welcome to NPN and the Avian forum, Michael. I like this image a lot. It really has a great summer morning feel to it. It was funny when you mentioned GBH’s being most active in the morning. I was at a refuge a week ago and they didn’t get active until 10:00 or later, but it’s winter now and they like to warm up. Carol had a nice idea about the reeds breaking through the top. I don’t mind the specular highlights on the bottom, they’re part of the feel of the image to me.

Nicely done. I am pretty sure you are shooting into the light so good job there. I really like those water drops and the pose of the heron. It looks like it is having a good time. And a very nice composition with all the habitat. You got nice and close in the kayak.

Thank you for the helpful suggestions and compliments . It is instructive to have pictures viewed through the eyes of other photographers.
I agree about the tops of the grasses, and it was an easy fix.
The horizon may appear tilted, because the lakeshore was curving away from me, and I was not at right angles to it. I did try correcting it, but the change made the bird appear to be tilting forwards, so I left it alone.
I tried eliminating most of the bright highlights in the foreground, but it removed much of the sparkle which, to me, was a central part of the photograph. In the early morning, with a very low sun, the reflections on the water are blinding, and I wanted to keep that impression. So, I have cropped the bottom a little, where the worst offenders were.
Thank you all, again, for the friendly and constructive welcome.

Hi Micheal
Shooting into the sun, you did a great job with the back side of this Great Blue. There is good eye contact and nice detail in the feathers. I like it just the way it is.

I like the composition-a nice environmental shot. The water droplets are a great addition. Good detail in the heron.