Study Group Two

Lisa Auerbach

Title: Blue Heron
Goal: To capture one of the migrating birds in Rockport, TX
Source: I sat quietly one early morning watching as birds looked for their morning meals in a shallow area near the beach. This one came quite close to me.
Technique: I sat on the ground, let the Heron come as close as I thought he would get then shot the image. I used a Canon 60D with a Canon 100-400 lens. Settings: f/5.6, 1/250sec, ISO 200 at 400mm. I used spot metering on the eyes and auto white balance. I did not have a tripod with me so shot hand held.
Processing:  In Adobe Bridge I clicked to remove Chromatic Aberation. I then switched to normal mode and worked with exposure, and the following sliders to achieve what I liked. I shot and cropped in a vertical mode.

Study Group Comments and Scores (N, T, P, E, Total)

Critique Image (only members of Study Group Two may critique this image)

Review by LesL., 3-14-2014
A sharp image with good blurred background. Degree of difficulty is low because needs action.
N=2, T=3, P=2, E=0, Total=7
Review by BelindaK., 3-17-2014
It's beautiful, and you were very fortunate to have it come so close. Were you disguised :) The ones near us take off if we get within 20 ft. For hand-held, it's a clean shot. It's sharp in important areas and you captured some great details. Colors and reflections in the water are very nice, and you caught a neat expression as it checked you out. You achieved your goal, and it's a very fine record shot.
Review by TomB., 3-25-2014
Lisa, I think that the dominant colors of the reflection have a tendency to draw your eye to that area. The heron image and feathers are good and clear with a lot of detail is present.
N=2, T=3, P=2, E=0, Total=7
Review by Rick C., 4-7-2014

Your technique was well thought out. You will almost always get closer to a bird if you let it come to you rather than trying to approach it. Your settings for capturing the image look good. I would focus on the eyes or just in front of them (depending on how long the bill is and what you have for depth of field), but I would base my exposure on something more easily metered. The side of the Heron would be about a medium gray and so that would be a good target. The vertical composition looks good. I like the out of center placement, but I would have the heron over on the left side since he is looking right. As you have it, notice how the left side becomes unused or “negative space”. This isn’t bad in and of itself, but if we move the Heron over to the same distance from the left edge that you have it from the right edge, it now looks into that open space and so it becomes a more significant part of the image. Cutting the reflection was a good choice IMO given the lighting. Thank you for leaving enough to have some space for the “virtual feet” (the rest of the legs we cannot see).

N-2, T-3, P-2 = 7

I bought my first DSLR Canon Rebel (with a kit lens 18-55mm) about 6 years ago with a self-imposed rule that I would not upgrade until I had learned something about photography.  I participated in many workshops, but it wasn't until I joined the Houston Camera Club that I started to really think about what I am shooting. 

I recently bought a Canon 60D and a Tamron 18-270 lens.  I enjoy nature photography yet try to learn as much as I can about the other competitive categories. 

I use PhotoShop CS6 to edit photos and consider myself an intermediate photographer.