A Great Blue Heron at Neck Point, Nanaimo flies off into the sun. Canon EOS 7D EF 70-300mm at 244mm f/11 1/200 ISO 100The great rush of air on the first downbeat of the wings pushes out past me as the heron lifts off. It is a large gangly thing that it seems should not fly... until you see it in the air. Then it is all grace and power full of life that not just lives in the air but belongs there. Everything about it from the curve of its wing to the arc in its neck speaks of a supple elegance that belongs in the skies.
This morning I went off to Neck Point with my notebook and my camera. I could feel the day’s heat beginning to rise as I walked along the shore. A lady who was walking by pointed out a heron standing just off shore. The sun was was already getting high and the light wasn’t great so I decided to expose for a silhouette instead of trying to get a standard exposure. I needed a small aperture to put the bird into silhouette but I also wanted the sun sparkling on the water to go out of focus. Fortunately the depth of field on a long telephoto lens is far more limited than on a wide angle so even at f/11 I got a sparkly out of focus glow from the water. The tendency of a long lens to compress distances in the image also makes it look as though the water is rising up in the background. I was inspired to produce this image by an ebook which I am currently reading. It is called "Finding Focus" and it is an excellent discussion of focus, depth of field, and the impact of focal length on your images. Nicole Young writes it and she does excellent work; it is only $5.00 and there is huge value there.