Saturday, January 18, 2014

This Week's Crops & Clips: White egrets and herons in morning light

Photographing birds with all- white plumage can be tricky. In full sun my photos often look flat and lack feather detail. On a shady morning, this Snowy Egret pranced by in its golden slippers only about 20 feet away and showed quite nicely.

Snowy Egret 20131210

The early sun imparted a warm glow to this preening Great Egret.

Great Egret preening 20131210

The sun had not risen, and light was reflecting off the clouds when I shot this photo of another Great Egret on an overcast morning. The photo turned out dark and grainy, but I loved the composition.

Great Egret before sunrise Corel 20121016

Here the very low angle of the rising sun causes shadows that accentuate the lines of a Great Egret.

Great Egret 20131120

On another morning at the same location the first rays worked their magic while the lake was still in shadow.

Great Egret morning light 4-20131206

Moments later, it was bathed in golden light.

Great Egret morning light 20131206

A Cattle Egret was just taking off, and the harsher late morning light accentuated its feather pattern.

Cattle Egret 20131129

This Cattle Egret was hunting lizards on our back patio and the sun was behind it in this candid shot.

Cattle Egret 20090118

A few blue feathers and the dull dark-tipped bill help distinguish this immature Little Blue Heron from the egrets. Side-lighting enhances the depth and curvature of its neck.

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) immature 5-20110227

A lucky combination of sun and shadows were just right to illustrate the size difference between Great and Snowy Egrets. Without that help their images would have merged.

Egrets 20090330


  1. Beautiful collection of egrets and photos. Well done, Ken!

  2. gorgeous set! so often, my egrets turn out as bright white blobs because of the bright sun. these are beautifully captured!

  3. Really beautiful!! You are right about capturing feather detail on these birds. Sometimes mine even have a pink cast. Very difficult, but you managed some fine shots here. I'm still waiting to see my first of season little blue. They should be nesting about now.

  4. These pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Brilliant photos! Must be wonderful to see these birds so close up!

  6. I enjoyed your photos, they're birds not common to our area.

  7. Excellent and impressive photos.

  8. Gorgeous shots, very very beautifull, best regard from Belgium

  9. Grainy or not...that one of the great egret and the pink sky perched atop a's magnificent.

    Beautiful images!!! Hope your weekend is treating you well today.

  10. Lovely birds and gorgeous photos!

  11. Beautifully photographed subjects.

  12. Wonderful study of light as well as the beautiful birds -- my favorites


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