Anatomy of a photo #49: Green Heron at Hog Island Oysters

First time I ever saw a Green Heron, and I was able to photograph it

Sometimes we are involved doing one thing, when something different comes along and we completely change our focus. I’d been taking some pictures of a happening for the local paper, when I saw a bird I had never noticed before.

Birds were still fairly new to me, I was just learning them, and I had not realized that we had this small diminutive heron living in our area. I had no idea who or what it was, only that it was some type of heron. So I switched gears and began photographing a new species (for me). When I got home that afternoon I looked it up and found out that it was a Green Heron.

This is how I learned birds in those days. Photographing them, and then looking them up once I had a chance in my field guides. Same with plants, flowers, rocks, and more. I strove to get the most meaningful images of them, but I was also trying to just capture a record of everything so that I could learn more. Photography isn’t just about capturing images and expanding other people’s worlds, it is also about discovery and expanding our own.

This particular Green Heron began hunting a small tidal slough outside of one of our local oyster farms. One of its chicks was also there, hunting, learning from its parent (I took pictures of it too). I captured them with 420mm of lens at f/8.0 and a shutter speed of 1/640th of a second. This way I was able to capture them from a distance without disturbing them. The fast shutter speed kept the lens shake from becoming an issue, and allowing me to capture a crisp image.

For more images of Green Herons, here is a photo essay of them.

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
This entry was posted in Anatomy of a photo, birds, California, How To, nature photography, photography, SLR, wildlife photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Anatomy of a photo #49: Green Heron at Hog Island Oysters

  1. ronaldpoels says:

    Nice picture of this beautyful bird.

  2. mike585 says:

    Very nice image and I reading your blog, too. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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