Great Blue Herons

Here are a few more heron photos from Saturday’s fabulous walk on the dike.

This female was following the male, and as soon as she got too close, he flew off.  I don't know if that type of behaviour is part of their mating ritual, or he just wasn't interested in being near her. 1/500sec, f5.6, ISO1000
This female was following the male, and as soon as she got too close, he flew off. I don’t know if that type of behaviour is part of their mating ritual, or he just wasn’t interested in being near her.
1/500sec, f5.6, ISO1000
Tired of being pursued, he's up and away. 1/320sec, f5.6, ISO1000
Tired of being pursued, he’s up and away.
1/320sec, f5.6, ISO1000
My camera doesn't handle high ISO all that well, and the noise reduction option in Lightroom leaves the photo a bit soft.  But, it was an interesting sighting and the first time I was able to see a male and female together, so I'm posting them anyways :) 1/320 sec, f5.6, ISO1000
My camera doesn’t handle high ISO all that well, and the noise reduction option in Lightroom leaves the photo a bit soft. But, it was an interesting sighting and the first time I was able to see a male and female together, so I’m posting them anyways 🙂
1/320 sec, f5.6, ISO1000

At rest

Birds, birds and more birds

Saturday was quite the day for bird sightings while out on my morning walk with the dog.  I haven’t had a chance to do much editing, but since I also haven’t been terribly consistent with posting, I thought I should do a quick post showing a sample of the birds I saw on the weekend, and hopefully I will have a chance to highlight each sighting later in the week.

I'm having some real difficulty with my bird identification, but I think this is a juvenile bald eagle, based on the beak and the size.
I’m having some real difficulty with my bird identification, but I think this is a juvenile bald eagle, based on the beak and the size.
I'm not sure what type of sandpiper these are.  They were in a small pond next to the dike - these were a first for me :)  Not a stunning photo, but just great to see something new.
I’m not sure what type of sandpiper these are. They were in a small pond next to the dike – these were a first for me 🙂 Not a stunning photo, but just great to see something new.
The female was in hot pursuit of the male, and as soon as she got too close, he would fly a little way further down the shore.
The female heron was in hot pursuit of the male, and as soon as she got too close, he would fly a little way further down the shore.
I have been hoping that one day I would be able to get a decent photo of a flicker, and Saturday was my day.  More to follow!
I have been hoping that one day I would be able to get a decent photo of a flicker, and Saturday was my day. More to follow!
So, I had a post called Slow; where I called myself out for not taking my camera with me.  This time, I put it away moments too soon.  After the juvenile eagle, an osprey that I didn't manage to photograph, the flickers and the sandpipers, I thought my photographing was done for the day, and put my camera away, as I was only a couple minutes from the parking lot.  And of course, a pair of adult bald eagles took off from the trees and headed straight towards me. :(  This is the best I could capture... note to self, don't put away the camera until you're in the car!
So, I had a post called Slow; where I called myself out for not taking my camera with me. This time, I put it away moments too soon. After the juvenile eagle, an osprey that I didn’t manage to photograph, the flickers and the sandpipers, I thought my photographing was done for the day, and put my camera away, as I was only a couple minutes from the parking lot. And of course, a pair of adult bald eagles took off from the trees and headed straight towards me. 🙁 This is the best I could capture… note to self, don’t put away the camera until you’re in the car!

Great Blue Heron

On our drive to the dikes this morning, we had a great blue heron take off from the side of the road, and fly straight towards the car.  I braked hard (luckily it was early and there was no one else on the road) and the heron decided to change direction at the last possible moment, so thankfully, no casualties today 🙂  It’s amazing to see them up close though, and be able to see how big their wingspan is.

I am glad I grabbed my camera bag on the way out the door, as I had some great bird sightings today.  I only managed a few shots of the heron, but I have lots more photos to go through for future posts.

A great blue heron coming in to land.
A great blue heron coming in to land.
A lovely reflection of the heron in the river. 1/160sec, f5.6, ISO1600
A lovely reflection of the heron in the river.
1/160sec, f5.6, ISO1600
Relaxed at the water's edge; no doubt keeping an eye out for the next meal.
Relaxed at the water’s edge; no doubt keeping an eye out for the next meal.

Silhouettes

The clear, cold weather over the weekend brought with it a lot of shivering, but also a lot of great photos opportunities.  I had Spencer with me, so I was more concerned with his well-being and enjoyment than getting the perfect shot… but, I still managed to get a few that I really like.

I hadn’t set out with a theme in mind, but the strongest photos of the weekend were all silhouettes (a clear topic for the blog – hurray!)

I see a Cooper's Hawk on nearly every weekend walk I take out at the dikes, and still they catch me by surprise most times.  I was glad I had the camera set to capture it in flight.  The setting sun is glimmering off of some of the ice floating in the river.  1/1250, f5.6, ISO100.
I see a Cooper’s Hawk on nearly every weekend walk I take out at the dikes, and still they catch me by surprise most times. I was glad I had the camera set to capture it in flight. The setting sun is glimmering off of some of the ice floating in the river. 1/1250, f5.6, ISO100.
I saw this pair on the dike as we were pulling into the parking lot, and snapped a few quick photos without thinking too much more about it.  This is one of my favourites from that afternoon. 1/1250, f4.5, ISO100
I saw this pair on the dike as we were pulling into the parking lot, and snapped a few quick photos without thinking too much more about it. This is one of my favourites from that afternoon.
1/1250, f4.5, ISO100
Cool tones in the sky, and ribbons of ice lining the river's edge.  The ice creaking in the dark made things a little bit spooky.   I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops in processing, so I guess I should have bumped my ISO to start or waited an extra 10 seconds or so during the exposure.  61sec, f22, ISO100
Cool tones in the sky, and ribbons of ice lining the river’s edge. The ice creaking in the dark made things a little bit spooky.
I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops in processing, so I guess I should have bumped my ISO to start or waited an extra 10 seconds or so during the exposure. 61sec, f22, ISO100
While we were walking, I saw this shape in the water, and thought it was a oddly shaped stump.  When I realized it was a heron resting, I set up right away, and didn't bother adjusting my settings; I just hoped it would stay still long enough to get a shot.  Like the Golden Ears photo, I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops...but I am glad I pressed down on the remote when I did, as he soon shifted position.  34sec, f29, ISO100
While we were walking, I saw this shape in the water, and thought it was a oddly shaped stump. When I realized it was a heron resting, I set up right away, and didn’t bother adjusting my settings; I just hoped it would stay still long enough to get a shot. Like the Golden Ears photo, I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops…but I am glad I pressed down on the remote when I did, as he soon shifted position.
34sec, f29, ISO100
I love the sky before sunrise, with the beautiful warm tones to the east, and cool tones to the west.   2.5sec, f22, ISO100
I love the sky before sunrise, with the beautiful warm tones to the east, and cool tones to the west.
2.5sec, f22, ISO100
Beautiful Mount Baker, about a half hour before sunrise. 6.0sec, f25, ISO100
Beautiful Mount Baker, about a half hour before sunrise.
6.0sec, f25, ISO100

Birds at Finn Slough

Swan

It’s been several weeks since I went on my last photo walk with my class, but life has gotten in the way of putting together a post of my favourite photos.

The purpose of the trip was to concentrate on the altered landscape, but instead I was focused on all the birds.  I rarely see swans in the local area, and on the drive in went past a field filled with them.  There was no where to pull over to take a photo, and I was glad when I arrived at Finn Slough and had another opportunity for a photo.

Mallard Ducks

Tucked up against the rain

Great Blue Heron in a tree

The Unexpected Great Blue Heron Photo Shoot

Pitt River Bridge, June 2013 1/30, f22, ISO100, 65mm
Pitt River Bridge, June 2013
1/30, f22, ISO100, 65mm

I headed out at 6am on Saturday, armed with a travel mug of coffee, my camera, tripod and ND filter, in the hopes of practicing some long exposure landscape photos at the Pitt River. My intention was to work on techniques that when converted to monochrome, renders the water looking misty and any clouds in the sky ethereal. But the BC weather foiled me again – it was TOO NICE. I won’t complain about that, ever, I just couldn’t photograph what I had hoped to.

Coquitlam in the distance, June 2013 1/10, f22, ISO100, 55mm
Coquitlam in the distance, June 2013
1/10, f22, ISO100, 55mm

I’ve noted the settings that I have used and some of the combinations may seem a bit odd.  I was playing around in manual mode and while it was bright, I was in the shade.  Since I had my tripod, I went with the one thing my instructor repeated a good half dozen times in class “If you have access to a tripod, you have no reason to use anything other than ISO 100.”

Great Blue Heron, Pitt Meadows, BC, June 2013 1/350, f5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
Great Blue Heron, Pitt Meadows, BC, June 2013
1/350, f5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
Mirror Images, June 2013 1.0sec, f38, ISO100, 48mm
Mirror Images, June 2013
1.0sec, f38, ISO100, 48mm

The river was smooth like glass and a lovely Great Blue Heron sat on a pillar in the water the entire time I was out, giving me the opportunity for some lovely shots of both the hills and the water, and the heron. I’m sure I’ll be back to African animals later in the week, but I was pretty happy with these shots, taken so close to home.

Great Blue Heron, Pitt Meadows, BC, June 2013 1/30, f5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
Great Blue Heron, Pitt Meadows, BC, June 2013
1/30, f5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
Great Blue Heron, June 2013 1/30, f5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
Great Blue Heron, June 2013
1/30, f5.6, ISO 100, 300mm
Mirror image Great Blue Heron, Pitt Meadows BC, June 2013 1/125, f11, ISO 100, 120mm
Mirror image Great Blue Heron, Pitt Meadows BC, June 2013
1/125, f11, ISO 100, 120mm