A Glowing Egret

I had another opportunity to practice my wildlife photography at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island in Florida. I rented that fabulous Canon 400mm f/5.6L that I tried out when I was back at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

By the way, early in our trip we bought a national park pass for $80 that gives us entrance not only to the National Parks, but also the National Wildlife Refuges and National Seashores and other places as well. We bought a national park pass for Canadian parks too. Those passes are a very economical investment for the value you get from them, especially since you can go back to a place multiple times without it costing extra money. So if the light isn’t right you can return another day.

My vision was to capture an image of a bird standing in still water showing its reflection. On the day, the light was overcast so the sky was white and the water was grey. I found an egret standing in still water fishing. The original image came out in shades of grey. But that’s ok, nothing a little post-processing cannot fix.

Egret, Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, Florida

Please click the image to view a larger version.

Using Nik Color Efex Pro, I brightened and warmed the image to make everything less cool grey and more warm white. I also added a softening filter which made the whole egret appear to glow. I lost a little bit of detail in the feathers by softening the image, but there is still enough detail to prevent it from turning into a white blob. I like the end result of a white bird on a white background.

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  1. says

    I just found your blog on photoblogs and am excited and bummed at the same time. I’m bummed because if I had been following your blog earlier, I would have loved to have met you at Fort Desoto. (I live in Tampa). Love that picture with the fisherman in it. Excited though to be reading it and read all the way through December on my lunch. I’ll be living vicariously through you, reading about your travels and looking at your beautiful photos while I’m eating lunch at my desk at work.

    Have fun on your travels!
    Dina J recently posted..More of the baby owlsMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Dina, thank you very much for your kind words about my blog. It is too bad we didn’t get a chance to meet up in Fort Desoto, it would have been great to have a local to show me the secret photo locations! Anyway, I’m glad we found each other now. I really enjoyed your blog post about the baby owls! I have a post coming up this week about the burrowing owls in Cape Coral. Thanks again for your visit and comments.

  2. snowy says

    At first glance I thought “overexposed.” The more I looked at it though, the more I liked the “white on white.” And the glowing bill and brightness at the bend in the neck between the back and neck. Well done.

    • says

      Hi Andy, thank you so much, I really appreciate your comments on this one since I took a bit of artistic licence with it 😉 It’s nice when an experiment in technique works out like this one did.

  3. HHnew says

    Hi Anne. Another great photo. I like the unprocessed photo and think it is a great picture of an Egret. However, I think the final version is more than just a great photo, you’ve really made it into art. You definitely have a good eye. Also, I wanted to thank you for adding the ‘How I did it’ paragraph to the bottom of your post.

    • says

      Hi Heather, thank you so much for the huge compliment, it really means a lot to me that you consider the final output a piece of art. That is what I am going for after all!! Thanks for the visit and comments.

  4. Deri says

    I really love what you did with the photo. It really popped out at me. I have no problem with a loss of detail in images. After all, silhouettes have a loss of detail on the other end of the spectrum. The backlighting is beautiful in this image and you really enhanced it with post processing. Beautifully done!

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