Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

H. H.

with 24 comments

Heron Flying Low Over Lake 1728

On the same August 23rd outing to Meadow Lake Park in Round Rock that led me to the D.D., or dense dodder, I photographed this H.H, or handsome heron, flying low over the lake. My subject appears to be the largest of the white herons in Texas, the great egret, Ardea alba, where alba means ‘white’ (think of albumen and albino).

I haven’t had much success with pictures of an individual bird on the wing, but this one strikes me as not too bad. For the technocrats among you, I’ll add that I panned with a shutter speed of 1/800 sec. to freeze the bird’s motion and used a high enough ISO to yield an aperture of f/16 that would keep the heron sharp in case the focus was a bit off.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 26, 2015 at 5:00 AM

24 Responses

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  1. L.L. liked your D.D., but this H.H. is even more to her taste, and a nice example of the patented S.S. sky being translated to water.

    (I never in my life thought I’d go third person, but there it is.)


    August 26, 2015 at 7:25 AM

    • At least L.L wasn’t LOL, for which S.S. thanks her. The writer adds that one advantage of having studied foreign languages is that he has been known to translate things, usually words, but now apparently skies as well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 26, 2015 at 7:39 AM

  2. This technocrat thinks you got the camera settings right. I like the way the HH pulls the neck in to keep the head close to the body. When they fly, they look prehistoric and graceful.

    Jim in IA

    August 26, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    • If that graceful flight posture is prehistoric, then give me more history. Better yet, give me a time machine.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 26, 2015 at 8:02 AM

  3. Lovely shot and the tip about panning. Hadn’t thought to try that. Interesting as we don’t call egrets herons in UK but egrets are a fairly new newcomer. Lots of herons by the Thames in London which had some precious wild places for a city!


    August 26, 2015 at 9:07 AM

    • Even within a country terminology can vary, and more so from one country to another. The book I looked in refers to this egret as the largest white heron in Texas, so both terms are in use.

      I rarely pan with my camera, but it seemed instinctively to be the right thing to do here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 26, 2015 at 12:47 PM

    • By the way: I’ve been in London a few times but I confess I didn’t seek out or unintentionally find any of the wild places you mentioned. Next time, I hope.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2015 at 8:11 AM

      • Managed wild, I guess but I will try and do some posts at some point. I grew up by the Thames and had lots of open space to roam in and the tube!


        August 27, 2015 at 12:13 PM

  4. Impressive shot, Steve. Years ago I got dragged out on a power boat for a day…hated it. Noise, wind, too much sun, too many people doing stupid things in the river…but at the end, a great blue in full breeding plumage sauntered into view just like this, right over the water. I’ll never forget it.


    August 26, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    • I’m glad that on that on that long-ago day you got to appreciate the saying “All’s well that ends well.” The fact that you still remember it is a testament to its importance for you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 26, 2015 at 12:49 PM

  5. Well done, SS. I’ve tried a few flight shots, but not any success like this.
    SGG (sorry…best I could do…I’m no good at this game. 🙂 )

    Steve Gingold

    August 26, 2015 at 3:02 PM

  6. Very impressive. Nice reflections

    Raewyn's Photos

    August 26, 2015 at 3:12 PM

  7. Simply splendid.


    August 27, 2015 at 6:05 AM

  8. I remember my own feeble attempts at panning, so can appreciate how hard it was to get this shot. The reflection is a wonderful counterpoint, too.

    Susan Scheid

    September 6, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    • Yes—and not to slight the heron, of course—the reflection made the picture for me, too. I don’t think I was even aware of the reflection at the time because I was so intent on trying to capture the heron’s flight.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 6, 2015 at 2:18 PM

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