Challenge: Reflections without Mirrors VII (Standard Editing)
Collection: Challenge Stuff
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1
Lens: Olympus 150mm f/2.0 Zuiko Digital
Location: Luce Bayou in Huffman, Texas
Date: Sep 4, 2017
Galleries: Nature, Birds
Date Uploaded: Sep 5, 2017
|A Great Blue Heron (Ardea Herodias) is sharpening it's beak on an available log in the early morning light on Luce Bayou in Huffman, Texas, USA.
I didn't get a chance to check the challenges until just before Hurricane Harvey hit. My initial thought was damn, there goes my chance to enter a great reflection shot. I had spent the last month exploring a new swamp. Well, it's actually called Champion Lake but it's really a huge swampy area off of the Trinity River and is part of the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge. Here is an example of some of the great reflection shots I have been getting there.
I was able to enter a photo in the Adult Toy challenge from there that did very well.
On Monday (day before challenge ends) the levels in Lake Houston had dropped to within banks (I don't kayak in flood waters, just to dangerous) so I dropped the kayak into Luce Bayou (a bayou that feeds into Lake Houston). The Trinity River is still flooded and I can't even make it to that area yet................so something like the above shot was out of the question.
I figured I could find something reflection related to enter, little did I know that such a great opportunity would present itself. I spotted this guy about 50 yards ahead after rounding a bend and it took me 45 minutes to get into position. After getting into position I photographed him for about an hour while he hunted and preened before he started to sharpen his beak on this log. I didn't get anything really good the first time, but the second time he did it I was able to capture this image. He hung out for about another 30 minutes after this capture before flying off. I got some amazing photos of him (took 541 total over the 1 1/2 hours), but this was the cream of the crop.
I am really happy with this shot and super excited about the challenge. I am predicting a score of 7+ for this and it may even have a chance of breaking my personal best of 7.4746 from the recent Wildlife VII challenge. Not often does everything line up so nicely for a wildlife photographer. You take what nature gives you and do your best. So regardless of how it does, I am very happy with this shot.
About the photo: My camera has a 2x crop factor so this was an effective 300mm. I was pretty close and there is only a small amount of crop (about 300 pixels on the long end) to tighten up composition. Well that and going from my cameras native 4:3 aspect ratio to the 16:9 here. I felt the long narrow aspect ratio fit the subject better.
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