Tricolored Heron, Anahuac NWR

I prefer natural surroundings but this Tricolored Heron was so cooperative that I couldn’t resist. I spent about 45 minutes with him, most of the time waiting for a break in the clouds that I could see coming. The light finally came, giving me better opportunity to catch the action.

This is another shot that I’m fairly happy with but am interested in hearing others’ perspectives. Any feedback is very much appreciated.

Any pertinent technical details:

Canon 100-400 II at 400mm, handheld, 7D II, 1/2000, f5.6, ISO 1250. Cropped a bit to straighten.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
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The composition looks very nice, Terri, and I love the detail in the Heron. Catching the prey in mid-air is always a treat. The bright vertical lines immediately in front of the beak and the two bright nuts above the beak to draw my eye a bit. The nuts would be easy to dim a touch on their bright side, but given the reflections the lines might take some more serious work to none down.

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Nice flip,
was there a flash used? or a very low sun angle?

No flash. Taken at 7:10pm in April.

Beautiful shot, Terri! The detail and the color are awesome. I love that you capture the little fish completely in mid air, but about to be swallowed whole in a moment. Very well captured.

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Excellent capture. The light is really wonderful and you caught some terrific action. Well composed. The color, detail, and pose more than make up for the environment.

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Hi Terri
Seeing a Heron at a boat yard has become a natural surrounding for this birds. the late day and low angle of the sun really makes the Heron pop out form it’s background. Nice work.

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Hi Terri, I think this works well. You did a great job with your comp which focuses our attention as a viewer on the subject and the BG ends up working well. I actually like the brighter part of the BG behind the head because it provides enough contrast with the head and beak. The darker part of the BG would have not provided that.

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Really nice timing and detail, Terri. Tricolors are my favorite waders. I think you could tame the features of the bulkhead down if you wanted fairly easily. But then it’s part of the bird’s environment so it’s not a deal breaker.

The bird, lighting and action are terrific here Terri! The man made background doesn’t do much for me, but nothing you could have done about that.