Cold, blue, great

great blue heron

A friend and I went dog-walking around Deer Lake today. It’s gotten cold, and most of the lake is covered in ice. The birds are hanging round the open bits.

At one point there was a querulous squawking from somewhere above us, and a Great Blue Heron plopped onto the very top of a tall fir, complaining bitterly, which greatly excited Small Terrier Cross. We craned our necks and admired and then continued our walk.

And then the heron flew down and landed near the boardwalk a little way in front of us. I find it hard to take pictures of herons—they tend to fly off when I approach, or there are just too many grasses and weeds and reeds and whatnot between me and them. But this one was close and tolerated being approached a bit more closely. Likely it was because there’s only limited water open.

Once landed it fluffed up against the cold and just sat there, apart from keeping a beady eye on passers-by. And I got my pictures. I also got very cold fingers taking them. Memo to self: investigate existence of special gloves for photographers.

Photography note: I have a lot of battles about focus with my little camera. I tell it where to focus, it does, and then it decides something else is better and changes the focus immediately after I press the button. I’ve gotten quite good at tricking it, though. In a dispute its default seems to be to focus on the background rather than the foreground, even when most of the picture is not background.

Except today, when it chose to focus on the foreground branches in every picture I took of the heron. At first I was annoyed by the lack of crispness in the background, which of course includes the heron, but now I’ve decided that I actually quite like the slight suggestion that it’s blending into the background in comparison to the stark branches. So maybe it was all a happy accident.

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4 thoughts on “Cold, blue, great

  1. I think that the soft focus for the heron works pretty well. Its nicely framed by the foreground branches. Doesn’t look too happy does he?

    1. He certainly didn’t sound happy, but then they never do. And once he settled he just… expanded. It was pretty cold, and I don’t think he was enjoying what it did to his open water.

  2. skadhu I was just wondering what make you camera is and also the lenses you are using. Your photos are always done with such beauty. You have a natural eye for photography. Some say a good camera is all you need to produce a good picture.
    But if one doesn’t have an eye for it, all you get is a good picture, instead of a great photograph.

    1. Thank you, Cher!

      I’m using a little Nikon CoolPix 5000 that’s now quite a few years old. It’s not a DSLR, it doesn’t have interchangeable lenses. It does have a rudimentary telephoto, but the quality of the image degrades quite a bit when you use it.

      It does allow programming to give quite a bit of control, but for some reason I’ve always had a mental block about how to use the programming, so mostly I shoot on partially automatic. I’m not sure why the mental block is there—I think it’s partly the way the programming interface is set up and partly that I’m too used to the knobs on my old SLRs, which I understood very well, and want the interface to work the same way. When I have gone to fully manual I have always seemed to run into technical problems that I can’t compensate for, whether because I’m an idiot about how to do so or simply because the level of control isn’t fine enough. Oh well! I’m saving my $ for a new DSLR—I’ve seen some that seem much more user friendly to me and hope I’ll be able to get my head around the functionality.

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