Nights with a Heron
A couple of weeks ago I discovered a location where a Great Blue Heron roosts. In the edge of a swamp very close to a dirt road that I sometimes drive down. I had Tim hold a spotlight on him and created a few photographs. Great blue herons, being diurnal, are mostly active during the day and roost up high in trees during the night. I was pretty excited about our discovery, because I knew there was a pretty good chance he would return to this very tree in the nights to come.
With that in mind, we went back a night or so later with hopes to see him again. I had a idea of a photograph I wanted to create. It would be without using the artificial light, but instead using the available natural light. My plan was to create a silhouette shot of him with the background full of stars. Unfortunately I was only able to create one image before he flew away. I didn't like that we had spooked him so I wanted wait a few nights before coming back. This Saturday night I returned.
Being very cautious I took my time driving down the road, cut my lights off and slowly drove up to the tree. I wanted to get another try at creating the image with him & the stars. When I first arrived there was a low cloud bank & I was unable to see the stars. With nothing else to do at 10pm on a Saturday night, I decided to sit & wait. Without leaving my truck, I carefully set up my tripod just outside through the window. I attached my camera, found the settings I was happy with and waited patiently. After about 30 minutes or so the clouds began to lift & move out. I created a few images before the heron tucked his head down, one leg up and began sleep. I watched him for a while and since he was pretty much done for the day I decided to packed everything up and go home. I will be returning to see if I can anymore images & hopefully some better ones.
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