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Portrait of a Heron

Portrait of a Heron
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-13
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, AF-S VR Micro Nikkor 105mm w/ TC14EII
Exposure: f/11, 1/180 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Superb Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-05-05 18:22
Viewed: 5190
Favorites: 5 [view]
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
While shooting photographs at Canoe Pool in Newcastle I noticed a small picnic area with individual roofs over the tables. On one of these roofs this White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) was sitting quietly. To take the shot, I was able to get quite close, by standing on a table next to it. This was good and bad. It was good to get close like this, I could actually see the feathers lifted by the wind, but I still couldn’t get the height, so I’ve cropped with the roof line to give you this portrait. To see the legs (and additional information on this Heron) I invite you to look at a previous shot of mine here.

I follow a generic workflow now as outlined in my Bio.
Details and differences to this are as follows:
Shot taken at 150mm, ISO 250, f/11, 1/180 sec
Levels tweaked further by eye
Saturation increased to +30 on master
Overlay layer not used

rcrick, jusninasirun, writerscrawlz, Jamesp, pvs, Miss_Piggy, pablominto, eng55, matatur, Argus, goldyrs, Maite, mlines, CeltickRanger, darwin, inked, Ken52, iris, RII has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi John,

Just awesome what an excellent shot, love that POV, superb detail in the plumage, fantastic eye detail, perfect sky, and the light is just brilliant, 10/10 mate,

Cheers Rick :)

Hello John. Flawless portrait in top quality image. I can see everything in pristine sharpness and detail. The perch against the blue sky is just stunning and the clarity just amazes me. Thanks for sharing of this beautiful image and already in my favorite list and personal theme. Best regards. Jusni

p/s: Love the intro and I support your idea of PP.

What an unsual POV! It's so different that it caught my attention immediately. I love the blue sky because it contrasts against the heron so nicely. The way you've done this reminds me of the old movies where ants are larger than people - this is one of the best shots of a heron I've ever seen.

Hello John,
WOW! Great portrait of this very lovely heron,
fantastic sharpness and depth of field, superb
details and excellent contrast against that beautiful
clear blue sky, lovely vivid colors, that eye has
wonderful details, color and catchlight, Great pose,he looks regal, well done.

Hi John,
Great shot. nice composition and details.

HI John
A lovely shot of this bird. I love the detail you have captured in his feathers and what a great catchlight in his eye. I enjoyed reading your PP notes too and will work out what it all means soon I hope!

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-05-05 23:02]

Hi John

A great close-up shot - good composition and POV with good colour and superb detail and lighting. Well observed and captured.

Just back from Ireland - sorry missed some postings.


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  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-05-05 23:03]

Hi John,

A nice portrait,with a nice low POV,the colors and details are great,it contrasts very well against the blue sky,thanks,


  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2008-05-05 23:24]

Hi John,
Beautiful capture! Very sharp image, great colours and well composed.

Hello John.
A very good focused portrait. Nice sky colour which compliments the heron.I like the details in the feathers, and think that the eye is paid attention to as well. 95% shadowless is decent for the sun you had.

  • Great 
  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-05-05 23:39]

Hello John,

Superb portrait of this heron. I like the unusual low POV for this kind of picture. Great sharpness and wonderful light and colours.

Hallo John
Time is rather limited at the moment, but I could not pass without leaving a few words of appreciation for your posting. This is a super sharp portrait of this heron with lots of detail to appreciate. You have managed to capture this bird very closely and it turned out to be a splendid close-up. The light reflecting in the big yelllow eye is great. I just love the superior and in a way proud glance into the air. The details of the plumage is displayed well and I cannot end my comment without adding it to my favourites. Lovely presentation.
Kind regards.

Hello John,
Ahhh, this is a great portrait of this majestic bird!
The grandeur comes well through in the image, and the details in the plumage are simply impressive...
Lovely colour palette in a carefully planned composition!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-06 0:24]

Hi John,
Outstanding portrait shot with amazing sharpness and lovely colours. The details on its plumage look marvellous and the yellow eye-ball look striking. Superb lighting and exposure with the blue BG setting up a nice tone for the shot. Excellent DOF, POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-05-06 1:04]

Hi John,
Beautiful portrait of this heron.I liked colors,clear eyes,sharpness and especially unusual POV very much.
Thanks for posting.

A beautiful and majestic portrait in fine focus and great detail, against a saturated sky John, the plumage details are fantastic my friend and that yellow eye forms a good counterpoint to the general colouration of the heron. Thank you indeed for sharing this fine composition with us.

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-05-06 2:57]


Just marking
I'll be back later!


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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-05-06 4:35]

Hello John,
A superb close portrait of a White-faced Heron. They seem to be able to tolerate people if there is food about, but you managed to get really close to take this beauty. I like the POV and sharpness against the blue sky and the composition is superb.
Avery nice shot and thanks for sharing it,

You've got an excellent shot here, John.The POV is very nicely chosen and the shot has been executed perfectly.

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  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-05-06 8:57]

What a fabulous portrait of this magestic Heron, John! What a great sharpness and excellent details. I like a lot the POV from below and the brightness and color of the eye.
Excellent framing and composition.
TFS and best regards

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-05-06 11:47]

Hello John,
What an amazing composition from a great POV. Sharpness, colours and BG are superb.

splendid portrait of this geat Heron,
colours and lighting are just wonderfull, perfect focus with many fine details and splendid blue sky in background,
excellent post,

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2008-05-06 18:02]

Hi John, An excellent upward POV with a blue sky making it very dramatic. The plumage is visible in great detail.Effective crop. TFS. Murray.

hello John

wath a wonderful and great portrait shot of this Heron,
very very fine POV (i loved the description you gived of your studio lol)
a wonderful blue background, great contrast between the Heron's
plumage colours and the blue sky and same thing for the yellow eye,
wonderful luminosity of the image with great sharpness and details,



Hi John

I really like your unusual POV. Good quality shot showing good plumage detail. Well done. :-)

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  • darwin Gold Star Critiquer [C: 259 W: 0 N: 403] (1401)
  • [2008-05-07 18:38]

Hi John
Wonderful portrait and POV
Crystal clear image with superb sharpness and detail
Lovely color. tfs jon

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  • inked Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 132 W: 0 N: 249] (771)
  • [2008-05-07 22:39]

hi John,
awesome shot of this Heron! one of the best white-faced heron shots ive ever seen for sure! i love the POV, and the lighting and detail is fantastic. nicely cropped composition. interesting read on your updated profile with your workflow. great work and tfs

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2008-05-11 23:00]

salut John,
absolument délicieuse cette image, la clareté est géniale. Le pov est incroyable, avec un bleu du ciel parfait.


bonjour john
je ne sais pas comment vous avez obtenu cela mais toutes mes felicitations.
je viens de passer plusieurs jours a gueter les herons mais n'ai pas obtenu d'aussi beau resultats.

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2008-05-13 9:19]

Outstanding heron portrait! This is some of the best detail I have seen on heron feathers. The sharpness is perfect. I like the glow of the eye and the beautiful blue sky and natural colors of the heron. Composition and POV are outstanding and the exposure is incredible!

  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2008-05-13 20:25]

I didn't see this one yesterday. The sharpness and clarity couldn't be any better here. The sky color is awsome, wow, it really enhances the heron very much. The eye is piecing at me. Colors and light pitch perfect. LOVE it.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-22 19:56]

Hello John

What an amazing pov.The clarity is superb.
The eye detail is wonderful.
Excellent colour saturation
The sky background is terrific.


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  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-05-22 22:04]

Hi John,
The day you had posted this, i saw it in a few minutes and was about to comment when i had to urgently leave my desk.A couple of days later, as i opened the page, and the heron descended on my screen in all its glory, my internet connection got disconnected.But, today am determined to finish the critique....A supremely majestic capture of the White faced heron here, John.I gues this frontal low PoV has been a smash hit and has worked wonders on this shot. The majestic blue sky in the BG is perfect compliment to your subject and that bright brilliant "buttoney" eye of the herons is one big fascination for me.
Very well done....to my favourites.....
TFS & Cheers

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  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-06-03 2:56]

It looks so real John. I'm very impressed with your photos, and this one stands out so well. Look at the sharp details - I feel I could touch him. Excellent all over

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  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2008-06-22 22:33]

Hi John.

Gtreat portrait, excellent contrast of the sky blue and heron,very nice point of view.


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