Herons and Pickerel

June 07, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

I love bird and wildlife photos and I think they're the best when they display some context. I took this photo last weekend at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Washington, DC.

Great Blue HeronGreat Blue Heron On its own, a photo of this great blue heron would be nice, but the lush greenery of the surrounding lotus plants makes the photo something special.

Photos of birds in flight can often be challenging because frequently you either end up aiming your camera up in the air and getting a photo of a bird with a boring pale blue background or you get a busy background that distracts from the image of the bird. I think I avoided both of those problems in the following image:

Wild great blue heron in flightHeron in flight In this image, I used the largest aperture my lens was capable of achieving in order obtain a shallow depth of field and throw the background out of focus. I also panned the image slightly to assist in the blurring of the background. I think the green texture is interesting and pleasing, but blurred just enough not to be distracting.

The herons on Sunday morning were quite active. I captured the following great blue heron just after it caught a fish.

Wild great blue heron with a fish in itFeasting Heron Besides the herons, I also had fun on Sunday taking photos of the pickerel.



The blur, or aesthetic quality of the blur, in a photo is called "bokeh". I think the bokeh in this image frames the pickerel nicely. While the background was actually very busy, I threw it way out of focus by using a long lens and positioning myself significantly closer to the flower than the background.
 

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