On one of my after supper photoprowls this week, enjoying the late summer sun, I was photographing a Snowy Egret, well out from the Kennebunk Bridle Path in one of the marsh pools near the river where they generally hang out, when I caught a flash of white through the trees and up the Path 50 yards or so. I edged out around the small pines that shade that part of the Path, and, indeed, there was another Snowy Egret feeding within 20 yards of the path just up from me. While I expect to see them like that in Florida in winter, I never see them that close in Maine. Just does not happen. Or so I thought.
By staying mostly hidden by the trees I as able to observe and photograph the Egret as it fed for 15 minutes. However, as soon as I went back to the Path and took even one step closer to where it was feeding, it was off. Now that is more like Egrets in Maine.
50 yards is still a goodly distance for bird photography (I have been within 20 feet of Great and Snowy Egrets in Florida and Texas on many occasions) so these shots are maximum optical zoom on the Canon SX40HS, plus 2x digital tel-converter function for the equivalent field of view of a 1680mm lens. The summer evening light, is, of course, what makes the shots.
Canon SX40HS. Program with iContrast and –1/3EV exposure compensation. f5.8 @ 1/800 and 1/1000th @ ISO 200 and 250.
Processed in Lightroom for intensity, clarity, and sharpness. A good deal of highlight, white, and blackpoint adjustment was needed to render the contrasty light. (I could have dialed in more exposure compensation in the camera…I considered it at the time…but I have found that I don’t like the unnaturally dark background that produces. I would rather deal with some overexposure in Lightroom than try to pull up muddy shadows, at least with this camera.)
And who is afraid to Friday the 13th anyway!