Monday, December 3, 2012

Favorites Series V


Great Blue Herons have kind of been a staple of my photography since I took it back up seriously. I didn't plan to spend so much time photographing them, it just worked out that way. We tend to shoot what's available to us. I mean, I'd like to photograph lions, but hey...

I'm not sure how many more of these posts I'll do, but I wanted to include some of my favorite heron shots before wrapping the series up.

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This is another mid-air fish flip shot that turned out well. I've learned that herons tend to do this only with smaller fish. The big fish still get maneuvered into the head first position, but not in such dramatic fashion due to their size.




This is one of a handful of flight shots that I really like. This is a juvenile Great Blue and I like the straight legs, tucked head, and overall aerodynamic look of the bird. This is about as graceful as a heron can look in flight.




I watched this heron flying across the lake in front of me when it suddenly hit the air brakes and stuck its legs out. I realized it was going to land on this small stump...which it did with perfection. I just like the positioning of the whole body. The head and neck are visible and the outstretched legs are pointed right at the stump.




The biggest reason I like this shot, and the others in the sequence, is because it was the first and only time I've photographed a heron catching something other than fish. This heron plucked a vole out of the bank after watching it for several minutes. I had no idea what the heron was after until it pulled the critter out. It dunked the vole in the lake a few times and swallowed it.




This is my number one favorite flight shot. While not as graceful looking as the juvenile above, I like the outstretched neck, open bill, and the wingtip reflection. Sometimes I wish I had photographed the full reflection, but the wingtips are enough to make it interesting.




24 comments:

Carole M. said...

absolutely amazing photographs each one; I think I like the aerodynamics especially; wow Brian, really special captures every one

Marc Heath said...

Brilliant flight shots Brian, lovely captures.

Andy said...

Extraordinary action scenes.

Kerri said...

i will NEVER tire of your Heron shots - Keep 'em coming!
As Always - these are breathtaking! I LOVE the "fish flip" :)

Kerri said...

PS - just "liked" your FB page!!
Mine is here: https://www.facebook.com/ALittlePieceOfMeKreationsByKerri

Pam :) said...

Brian, your images never cease to amaze me.. I'm in awe of them all, especially that first one!

Deb said...

Love them all Brian

TexWisGirl said...

(and another tiny fish scream is heard in blogland today!) :)

i love the ribbon of neck feathers you can see so clearly in the top shot. i LOVE that 2nd - one of my favorite brian gbh photos. the feather colors and patterns, the eye clarity. superb! the stop action in the 3rd is awesome! ooh, looks too late for a vole scream. :) and the reflection in the last is crystal clear. love all the wing definition you capture.

so when's the heron coffee table book being published? can i place my pre-order? :)

Faye said...

Your photos of this bird illustrates so well that in nature there is great beauty in wildlife behaving the way it was born to be, Brian. Not a beautiful bird when you just look at it, but in action--oh yes!

I hear you about continuing the series. It must take a lot of time to go through your archives and organize each post. Selfishly though, I hope you find time to do just a few more. :-)

Beth said...

The photos are breathtaking!

Pamela Gordon said...

Wow! Brian I am so impressed with each of these photos. They are amazing and I can see why they are among your favourites. I imagine you have thousands of photos to choose from and it would be difficult to pick out the best. Stunning captures!

Amanda said...

Amazing! I love the fish and the vole one and agree with TexWisGirl, the feathers are great, so clear. It is fantastic having this insight into their behaviour/feeding.

Jan n Jer said...

R U sure you dont work for National Geographic???? Your photos are simply breathtaking Brian...that first shot is just awesome!

Lindsjö taxar said...

Amazing Brian!!! Very good , right on time....herons are so beautiful. Very impressed!

TheChieftess said...

Wow!!! Fabulous shots Brian!!! I love that top photo...I'm assuming a very fast shutter speed... Any tips for shooting birds in flight?

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I'm so glad you had more favorites to share! I was wondering. These are absolutely brilliant in every way. I had to laugh at your comment about wanting to photograph lions. How true. I've only gotten a GBH with a fish one time. I guess I'm too impatient.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Every single one of these is truly an incredible art piece... so beautiful!

ReBelle said...

ditto all of the above.

Debbie said...

These are amazing photographs, the best I have ever viewed! These should be published somewhere, just let me know where you decide to put them, they are stunning!

Linda said...

Each time I looked at a photo, I said, oh, that is my favorite one...and then, there was another favorite! Great shots...as always!

bailey-road.com said...

What a wonderful group of GBH captures!

Stewart M said...

Great shots - the fish flip is wonderful.

On more than a few occasions seeing fish is the first stage to catching them - sight casting to even small fish is great fun!

Stewart M - Melbourne

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Gorgeous pictures.. Greetings from Madrid..

barbara l. hale said...

Spectacular!