A Wind Blown Great Blue Heron Photographed Using Different Angles

Great Blue Heron with sand background

Great Blue Heron with sand in the background – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1500, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm at 400mm, natural light

These Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) photos were taken of the same bird, photographed at same location on the same day just one minute apart. When I created the photo with the sand in the background I was laying down on a small sand dune and took the photo with my camera about level with the wind blown heron. That showed the sandy beach in the background and the water of the Gulf of Mexico near the top of the frame.

Great Blue heron with sky background

Great Blue Heron with sky background – Nikon D200, handheld,  f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm at 250mm, natural light

For the second image I had sand-crawled a little closer to the heron and aimed my camera lens at a more upward angle. By doing so I eliminated the sand behind the heron and had the clear blue sky for a background.

These images are only six frames apart.

The difference in the angle of my lens created the two different backgrounds. When I am photographing I often look for opportunities like I had with this Great Blue Heron to change my angle or the angle of my lens to experiment. With some habitats it can make a huge difference in the final results, in this case I like both presentations and backgrounds.


Images were created in March of 2009

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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and photographing birds. My approach is to photograph the birds without disturbing their natural behavior. I don't bait, use set ups or call them in. I use Nikon gear and has multiple camera bodies and lenses.


  1. outstanding!!!! you got my shot (again!) … lol … well done!!!

  2. Beautiful photos, thanks.

  3. Both are stunning. Thank you.

  4. Wouldn’t even try to choose between them…both are so unusual and wonderful…love the obvious action of the wind in the feathers…two great images!!!

  5. Mia, wonderful angles, I really like the
    different looks and high lighting
    the plumage of this beautiful heron.

  6. I like them both as well. Just so beautiful.

  7. Amazing photo!
    It’s amazing how you can get so close to the birds there. That place is on my Bucket List. :)
    Love the heron!

  8. Fabulous, and so tack-sharp even with the wind! I guess I prefer the first one, because I really like seeing his long crest feathers, and I also like having a sense of where the bird was.

  9. Brilliant Heron, and I love the angles that you shot it.

  10. hi mia
    i hope you re well, it s a long time i havent seen you :D
    you heron portrait is deligthfull, 2 very good pictures =))
    see you soon ☺

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