Okay, I’ll admit it, I have an egret addiction. But not just any egrets, its gotta be the reddish ones. They are just too much fun to photograph. They dance, they canopy, they give dramatic, elegant, sometimes goofy poses. I have thousands of pictures of them, and I can’t stop myself from taking more. So, when the rare form of the reddish egret, the White Morph, presents itself, and then gets in a fight with another reddish in full breeding color, you know I am a happy guy.
Shot with a Canon 1D MkIII and 500/f4 lens, Aperture Priority (Av), 1/2500th at f8, ISO400, exposure compensation -1/3.
Height Versus Background – Although I usually preach to get eye level with your subject, there are times where this doesn’t work for the composition. In this case getting down too low pulled a distant skyline into the top of the shot, creating a bright strip across the top of the background that wasn’t nearly as complimentary to the egrets as the dark tones of the trees and water. Photography is very often about compromises, and this was a perfect example of that. Going a little higher than I normally would pulled the skyline out of the frame and made for a much more pleasing background.
Know your Critters! – Knowing as much as possible about the wildlife you photograph will help you not only find animals to take pictures of, but also help you take more interesting, dynamic, or intimate photos of them. When you encounter an animal, take a moment and watch what they are doing. You can learn a lot about their body language and habits this way, and often be able to anticipate what they are going to do next. While it is tempting to start blasting away with your camera, take a few moments, let them get used to you and decide you are not a threat, and just watch. You’ll find your images are more composed and you can enjoy encountering and observing some amazing creatures, which is why we are out there after all.