By Ted Grussing
… it is into the weekend again … with a few wing beats this Great Blue Heron flew the length of one of the ponds before settling in to do a little fishing. I stopped by the ponds on the way back from Cottonwood late this afternoon; a quick stop at Wildflower to pick up a salad and eat some of the bread samples while I waited for them to make my large vanilla latte … that is about the only bread I eat anymore and I figure since it is out there as a sample it likely has no calories … even the butter :+)
For those with an interest the following is a synopsis of getting a shot like this and the thinking that goes into it – if you have no interest just skip over the next paragraph.
The heron was about 150’ from me when I took this shot and moving out pretty good. I used a 400mm lens, f 8.0, 1/800th second shutter speed, ISO 200, full frame metering and spot focus. Generally if you catch the focus and you are tracking the bird you will get the body and using a slightly higher f stop you increase the depth of field so that you will have the wings, body and eye in focus. Using the settings I used I had about a 20’ depth of field so if I got the focus I would have the whole bird; had I used an f 5.6 it would have cut the depth of field by nearly 7’. Also if your sensor is not prone to noise use a higher ISO setting to increase your shutter speed and allow you to use a higher f stop (slows the shot speed) for greater depth of field. In this shot using an f11 setting would have increased the DOF to nearly 30’. Where it becomes critical is closer in like at 50’ using my settings for this shot the depth of field would only be 2.23’ which with a six foot wingspan would not give you very good looking results. This can be okay if you like the effect of blurred wing tips or if you have a rapid frame rate and you get the wings down like in this shot the whole bird would fit in the 2.23’ window for a sharp image … provided you get the focus, which on a bird moving around 40’ per second is not a guarantee … you have to use a spot focus because if you use a wide area to pick up a focus it is as likely to grab a focus on the far shore as on the bird.
It was an amazing day, one of those days that moves quickly and everything is good. Have fun this weekend, share a smile with someone and speak softly the truth of your joy. A very Happy Easter to my friends who celebrate the holiday.
The plan is to be back Monday morning and until then
Cheers and smiles
…I yield myself to the thousand enchantments of sky and field and wood,
and play again like a child on the soft green of the earth.
And as the God of the universe has made thee to bloom in tenderness,
so also may my heart be made to bloom again.
— Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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