Great Blue Heron

I took this at a local plantation rice field by Charleston, SC. I was walking a trail, and something made me turn around to see him on top of a boat canopy. D7200, Tamron 150-600mm G1, at 400mm, 1000/sec, f7.1, iso 100. I really didn’t do much of anything in post.

My question is regarding the fact that I cut his legs off. lol I was a quick shot and he was standing on a bright green boat canopy so I wasn’t sure I wanted it in there anyway.

What do you think? Would the shot have been better if what he/she was standing on was included?

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Hi Larry:

To answer your specific question, I to think the image would be stronger with a base that included whatever the Heron was stating on.

Sharpness looks good. Whites are a bit hot, but probably recoverable from the RAW capture. I also think the very strong cyan sky feels a bit unnatural. I don’t know what the original raw capture looked like, but I’d still tone it down.

An interesting pose, Larry. Detail is excellent, but I do think the image would work better if it included the perch. As a matter of practice, I like to include the perch in the image and I can always remove it later, should I decide it would work better (unless I’m close enough to just do a portrait). Keith mentioned the sky color which does seem off quite a bit. I’d be tempted to add a bit of canvas on top and the right to obtain a less crowded feel to the image.

Thank you both!

I was going through Lightroom and discovered I had taken one shot of it on the perch.

I agree with the others on the inclusion of the perch. I also agree with Dennis that a bit more at the top would feel less crowded. Definitely on the second shot you posted, you need much more room at the top to get his eye closer to the 3rds line. Also, the first shot is a better pose. If I shoot an animal from behind, I don’t want him looking away from me. Lastly, when shooting, make sure your focus point is on the most important part of the shot - generally with animals that would be the eye(s). It appears the closest feathers on the body are what got focus here.

Thanks for the feedback Terri. I changed the crop a bit and you are right, it was looking a little crowded. I widened it as well, not sure if I like that part as much.!