2/14/2011: Snowy! Happy Valentines Day

Okay, so this shot of a Snowy Egret taken at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge has nothing at all to do with Valentines Day…except maybe the very beginnings of breeding plumage in the bird…but that is a real stretch. Still, Happy Valentines Day!

This was taken at the same pool by the restrooms on Blackpoint drive that yielded the Anhinga, the Green Heron, and the Alligator. Not bad for a pool only about seven car lengths long and maybe one and half wide.

As always, the trick with a Snowy Egret in the sun is to get the exposure right. I have played with Exposure Compensation often enough to know that, on a shot like this, where the bird fills a good deal of the frame, you are often better off just letting the auto exposure do it’s thing. A touch of Recovery in Lightroom might be needed for the highlights, but then at least the background does not go way dark.

I worked this bird for 15 minutes or so, as it moved around the pool. Here is alternative shot framed against the water, and cropped from the top for composition.

Canon SD4000IS behind the 15-56x Vario Eyepiece on the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL spotting scope. About 1200mm equivalent field of view. 1) 1/600 @ ISO 125. 2) 1/800th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

Processed for clarity and sharpness in Lightroom.

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