Great Egret on a Stormy Morning

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Great Egrets/Great Egret on a Stormy Morning

Yesterday I posted a Snowy Egret hunting in early morning light and mentioned that early morning or late afternoon light can add drama to an image, in today’s post I will explain a bit more about the dramatic light in the Snowy Egret image and these images of a Great Egret (Ardea alba). Both egrets were photographed on the same morning at Fort De Soto’s north beach.

Great Egret in flight with a storm in the backgroundGreat Egret in flight with a storm in the background – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 150mm, natural light

Usually before going out to photograph birds or other wildlife I go on line to check the weather radar and try to determine whether there will be clouds and if so which direction they are moving. On the morning that I created these Great Egret images and the Snowy Egret I wrote about yesterday I could see on the radar that it was clear to the east of Fort De Soto but there were storm clouds hanging about a mile or two off of the coast line of the Gulf of Mexico that were moving very slowly towards the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. I hesitated because after driving 45 minutes to get to Fort De Soto I was concerned that the clouds would have moved on shore while I was making my way there.

The Storm WatcherThe Storm Watcher – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

I am very glad that I decided to take the risk of not being able to photograph that morning because of being rained out due to the storm off of the coast that day. When the sun rose at dawn with it clear to the east it lit the birds up beautifully plus it also seemed that the light bounced off of those stormy clouds and back towards me and my subjects giving the images a lovely ambiance.

Great Egret on a stormy morning Great Egret on a stormy morning – Nikon D200, handheld, g7.1, 1/640, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 300mm, natural light

The billowing thunder clouds off shore created moody backgrounds for all of the frames of the Great Egret. I could have gotten to Fort De Soto and been rained out that morning but instead I came away with images that thoroughly delighted me! It just goes to show “That you won’t know unless you go”.


* I am out of town so I scheduled this post ahead of time, please feel free to share.


  1. zephyr June 16, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Sooooo beautiful

  2. Syl June 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Perfect lighting..and the great egret in flight is awesome..The other two photos really capture the character of the these marvelous birds..great job..

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Syl, thank you very much for commenting on these images.

  3. Tammy Karr June 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Great captures Mia! The Egret in flight is outstanding!!

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you Tammy, I appreciate your comments.

  4. Nicole MacP June 10, 2012 at 10:22 am

    LOVE the effect of the clouds!

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks Nicole, those clouds did make for awesome backgrounds!

  5. Bob Zeller June 10, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Somehow, I got behind on checking out your posts. Gosh, where to start. They are all so great. Magnificent images of the Muledeer. Great detail. I love that Snowy Egret. The lighting on it and these Great Egrets is right on the money.

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Bob, I get behind too, especially in the warmer months when I spend so much time camping/photographing/exploring. Thank you so much for all your kind comments.

  6. Carol Mattingly June 10, 2012 at 9:58 am


    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Thanks Carol, as nature photographers we have the most beautiful subjects!

  7. Julie Brown June 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

    The light is always wonderful in your work.

Comments are closed.