Great Blue Heron, Orange Beach, AL

Can I get away with another GBH With Fish post? Let me know what you think, appreciated in advance. I was dealing with very bright sunlight.

Louisville, KY

Jim, another interesting capture with the fish. Really shows how the bird uses its beak as a spear.

I find it helpful to have a go to setting for strong light and subjects with whites. I then adjust my settings accordingly using highlight alerts (blinkies). For action shots, I typically start with ISO 400, f7.1, 1/3200s. This typically allows me to stop action without blowing out the whites.

It would be helpful for critique to see your shooting settings.

Allen gave a nice analysis of the exposure issue, Jim. I like the shot. While unconventional, it’s rare to get such a clear illustration of how Herons catch their fish.

Jim, this perspective on the “spearing” is a very nice catch. Unlike the other heron image you posted, The light is working against you here which casts deep shadow on the neck which is not very pleasing (it’s getting harder once you’ve got a very well lit image like the other one :laughing:). I do find the prey item very interesting. It looks like a dried salted fish but I bet it’s just coated with sand?

That said, I think there is a lot that can be done to make this image a little better to my eyes if you are open to more work in PS. Here is my proposal, Jim. You will be able to get a much better result starting from the RAW.

I thought I saw a couple clone artifacts around the fish that can be cleaned up fairly easily. And then I do some work on the BG by using content aware fill. And then I worked on the shadow areas on the bird selecting them in quick mask and then use a few curve adjustment layers to even out the exposure a little bit. I can’t do anything to restore details in the highlights because they are gone in this JPEG. Hopefully if you start with the RAW file, you will be able to get something there. What do you think?

Hello adhika, I really appreciate the time you took and trying to get this image into a better state. Unfortunately for this one it is older and I no longer have the raw image file. I’m in the process of changing my Approach and we’ll be shooting raw going forward. I think what you did improve the image considerably! Again thank you for taking the time to work on this.