Great Blue Heron at Sunrise

 Great Blue Heron portrait at sunriseGreat Blue Heron at sunrise – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/320, ISO 500, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Just a single image today but an image that I like for its simplicity, morning light, composition, fine detail and watery background. Another one of the reasons I enjoy this photo is that the eye of the Great Blue Heron has a colored catchlight that is from the sun glowing yellow on the eastern horizon. Most catchlights are white but at sunrise and sunset colored catchlights are possible.

I used a pano crop for this image to accentuate the long bill of the heron and I think it worked quite well.



  1. Jane Chesebrough January 12, 2012 at 12:10 am

    This is a captivating shot. I enjoy your photography so much and appreciate you showing your work.Didn’t know how to comment before on the blogs that I get sent by email so I will add this page to my favourities. I have started to experiment with different exposure settings after seeing yours and Bob’s information. Keep up the great work!

    • Mia McPherson January 12, 2012 at 6:54 am

      Jane, thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your very kind words on my photography. I learned so much from viewing the technicals on other people’s images when I first started using DSLR’s that I want to “pay it forward” when I make posts.

  2. lisa January 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    This is a truly magnificent photograph!

  3. Brian Gatlin January 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I love the composition of this image, Mia, along with the slightly angled-away look. it all works together and really draws me in.

    • Mia McPherson January 12, 2012 at 6:41 am

      Hi Brian! Thanks for stopping by and for your comment on this Great Blue Heron image. I’m glad it draws you in.

  4. Holly Stanley January 11, 2012 at 6:58 am

    This is breathtaking!! The detail and colors are incredible! I have to send a THANK YOU out to Bob Zeller for recommending your site, and I’m really looking forward to following your work!! 🙂

    • Mia McPherson January 11, 2012 at 7:27 am

      Holly, thanks so much for your comments on this image. Bob is such a sweetheart and I’m glad he enjoys my site. Come back any time!

  5. Dan Huber January 11, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Beautiful photo Mia

    • Mia McPherson January 11, 2012 at 6:04 am

      Thank you very much Dan.

  6. Larry Jordan January 10, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Superb portrait Mia. Such detail, and the light is perfect! Love that catchlight! I have some sunrise photos of Burrowing Owls with golden catchlight. It is so magical.

    • Mia McPherson January 11, 2012 at 6:04 am

      Larry, I do think those colored catchlights are magical and they would be awesome in Burrowing Owl images (But you know we are both ever so fond of them!).

  7. Tammy Karr January 10, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Beautiful photo!

    • Mia McPherson January 11, 2012 at 6:02 am

      Thanks so much Tammy!

  8. Garen Johnson January 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Love the crop and the sunrise catchlight!! Another true beauty Mia!

    • Mia McPherson January 11, 2012 at 5:59 am

      Garen, good to see you again, hope all is well. Thanks much for your comment on my Great Blue Heron at sunrise

  9. Blue Line January 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I saw your comment on my blog and I said let me visit your blog to see whats new, whether you posting one photo or 10, just wana say its amazing and can be background for my desktop..thank you so much Mia be blessed and have great day

    • Mia McPherson January 11, 2012 at 5:58 am

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment and for visiting my blog.

  10. Bosque Bill January 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Super image and you are right, the pano crop is perfect.

    • Mia McPherson January 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Bill and for your comment on this image!

  11. Janos Soproni January 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Hello Mia!
    I like your work!
    This is a simple but a really great image, congrats!
    Best regards,

    • Mia McPherson January 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Hello Janos, thank you for visting my blog and for your very kind words on my work and this image!

  12. Bob Zeller January 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Great Blue Herons are among my favorites to photograph. This image of yours incredible, Mia. Your panorama crop is perfect for it. I love it. 🙂

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