Taken 3 weeks ago at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. These are not captive birds, but part of an open air rookery of various herons, egrets, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, etc., which are thoroughly habituated to large crowds of photographers and onlookers. I always feel a bit uneasy photographing there, but succumb every time to the unique opportunity to see and photograph these birds in their distinct and separate tasks of nesting, mating, hatching and fledging their young. There is an immense cacophony of raucous billing, cooing and wooing going on, underscored by the mating calls of the hundreds of large male alligators swimming beneath the boardwalk through the rookery.
This is not a typical wading, fishing, foraging shot. It says something to me about the bird itself, rather than my nearness to it, photographing. I felt lucky to get it, even if I can’t define it.
What technical feedback would you like if any?
any/all. I would suggest for anyone going there that a 100 mm—400 mm zoom is ideal for nearly all the shots taken there. For anything close to the guardrail, my 300 mm + TC left me with not enough room to back up. Quite often, the vegetation obscured all but a 90 degree view. The feet and lower body had to be sacrificed.
What artistic feedback would you like if any?
This is one of those habitat/leading lines shots. I can’t imagine adding or taking away from it. Even not showing the lower body works, at least for me.
Pertinent technical details or techniques:
Camera Info: Nikon D750, HH, braced on Boardwalk railing
Lens: VR 300mm f/4E + 1.4x TC (the teleconverter wasn’t really necessary).
Focal Length: 420mm
Focus Mode: AF-C
AF-Area Mode: Group Area AF
Shutter Speed: 1/60s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Comp.: 0EV
ISO Sensitivity: ISO 400
90% of full frame
PP in LR/PS CC 2019, Topaz Studio, TK Sharpen for Web @ 35%