Nature clicks # 57 - Heron in low light

Great Blue Heron
Nikon D200, Sigma 50-500 mm f/4.0-6.3, 500 mm (750 mm FX), 1/50s, f/8, ISO 100


As I mentioned yesterday we did some bird watching last weekend in Governor Dodge State Park. The park has two lakes and we saw several species around the lakes and in the forest. One that made for good exercise of long lens technique was this Great Blue Heron. It was slowly moving in the shallow water, which was almost completely covered with Duckweed. The low light that we had on Saturday required long shutter speeds. Actually way too long for my abilities to keep the lens steady even on the tripod. I wrote here many times that I don't increase the ISO beyond 200 because of the limited noise reduction capabilities of my Nikon D200. I do some noise reduction in post but too much of it lets you loose detail. And this is something I don't like in my wildlife pictures.

I shot lots of pictures of this heron. Sometimes it stood up and didn't move at all. This is a good chance for a sharp shot but I wanted a picture showing the bird in hunting position, with its head down and the neck not cut by the waterline in the background. Even if this particular image was made with single-area autofocus on, it seemed that I had a better keeper rate with manual focus.

If you like to see this image in larger size please feel free to click HERE.