Two of my favourite Grey Heron shots were taken on the same day. The conditions were unusually calm and I was trying for mirror shots – perfect reflections. I think I came close with one. The other was a near miss.
Once again I find it intriguing how the light can make the plumage look warm, neutral or cold. It is always hard to decide whether to clean up the twigs and reeds in the water or leave them be. I know some photographers spend ages removing every trace that ‘interferes’ with the cleanliness and purity of the image. In the top one I removed a few sticks that were very close to the heron. In the middle one I did nothing. I think it is a matter of taste. I was surprised how few heron images I have. I think many of us tend to ignore them because we see them so often. We focus on small active or pretty birds and large grey flappy things get little attention. A Gallic shrug and a “Pah – just another heron” – the bird is gone. It takes golden light or mirror-calm water to merit paying attention to one of these chaps. And with a big lens they often don’t fit in the frame. I already have my stonechat project running. Maybe 2014 should be the year of the heron rather than the horse.