Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Purple Herons

Last weekend I finally made it to the purple herons early in the morning. I arrived there shortly before 6am and had a great scene there. The sun was just rising and there was fog in between the reeds. In such a sitiuation with backlight you have an amazing golden light, but it only last about 30-40 Min.

With such light it is important that you find a location where you are directly or withing a range of 10-20 degree facing the sun. Then dial around -1 EV to enhance the golden look of the light and switch to Manual exposure. I strongly recommend manual exposure with flight shots and changing background if you want to have consistent results.
My goal was to get a flight image, where the purple heron is landing towards me with open wings in this beautiful light. I think this will need a lot more attempts considering that you only have about an hour to shoot in this condition. Then the wind also plays an important role in this. To create my desired image the wind has to blow from behind me, then the heron will land towards me. Birds always land against the wind, this is very important to know if you want to photograph birds in flight.
Later in the afternoon I returned to the purple herons but the wind came from the east. The herons were landing with their back to me, which is the worst condition for flight images.

I hope the weather will be good the next weeks so that I can try again to get "the image"

Sebastian Erras
Wildlife-Photography Sebastian Erras


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