08.08.2020-2 Me and Greenie Down by the Brickyard

I had a nice morning with four herons.  Two Great Blues and two Green. Three of the four were seriously into preening but every once in a while would strike a nice pose.

Green Heron-Butorides virescens. In the order Pelecaniformes which also contains the bird of similar name.

I often wonder what folks think of their pictures after taking one of these from the same distance as I was ( somewhere between 100-200 feet) but with a smartphone.  Even at 800mm (100-400 x 2.0) I had to crop this to about 50% of the original.  Every once in a while the sun would peek through but for the most part it was cloudy and the colors shown nicely.

One thing about this social distancing practice…not a single person in several months has asked to look through my camera.  One or two asked what I was looking at but none wished to see.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Animal Behavior, Fauna, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to 08.08.2020-2 Me and Greenie Down by the Brickyard

  1. Very nice Steve! Brings back fond memories of photographing them with friends at a local Nature Area. I am also amazed seeing people coming next to me with smartphones taking shots of a distant bird in the water or a dragonfly when I am at 800mm or more and they are just clicking away on their phone. Or when they purposely stand in front of me while I am photographing & pull out their cell phone. But that’s Life!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I got kicked out of a photography group on Facebook for complaining about some people doing just that as I was photographing sunrise while at Acadia. I might not have complained but they were also photographers using tripods, and beach chairs, so should have known better.

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  2. Mike Powell says:

    I love green herons, which always seem to have more personality than their more stoic Great Blue cousins. I am finally at the point where I can admit that cell phones can capture images of certain subjects that rival those from a DSLR, but a heron at long distance is definitely not one of those subjects. Photography for me is not a group sport–I was social distancing long before it became a requirement. I stopped going to one of my favorite spots specifically because it became too popular and crowded.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Same for me, Mike. Both about Green Herons and shooting alonish. I generally don’t go with anyone else except on a few occasions with people I know are serious about photography and not into a lot of conversation. Mary Beth wishes I would have company in case something happens like the fall I took a few months ago. Many of the places I go have poor or no cell service so it is a worry. I have a favorite spot for sunrises but if I see another car or more than one there as I approach the turnout I just keep going. By getting up early and going to lesser visited spots I am most often solo.

      I do shoot with my cell phone for certain things, especially when the big camera is at home, and have posted a couple here. Reed does a lot also. The iPhone 11Pro has a 2x “zoom” which can be dialed up to 10x but the quality really drops off noticeably above 2-4x.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mike Powell says:

        I have “only” the iPhone 11, but mostly forget to use it. When I was in Paris last November and was shooting more landscapes and cityscapes, I used it a whole lot more often. My friend Cindy does a lot of flower macros with her iPhone. She is able to get amazing detail and depth of field that are hard to replicate with her Nikon D850.

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      • It’s the same for me, Mike. If I have my full kit I often don’t think to use the iPhone but am getting better at remembering to take a shot of something I’ve not seen before so iNaturalist can help me. Sometimes I make an image while waiting for sunrise to share the moment on Facebook or to express my delight at finding something interesting. I’ve seen Cindy’s flower images and they are well done.

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  3. Very nice, Steve. A cloudy day can be the perfect softbox.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I see Great blues all the time, but Green Herons are rare around here, so it’s always special to have an encounter with one, much less tow. Thanks for sharing your beautiful portraits, Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love those green herons. We had one all the way out here in the desert at our pond a few months back. That was a shock.
    As for smart phone cameras, when I cycle in the mornings I don’t have a way to carry a DSLR with me, so the only way to capture a special image while riding is with my phone, which I carry for safety. The few times I’ve used it, it’s been such a disappointment that I swore I’d never pull it out again to capture an image. It wasn’t even good enough for social media (it’s an iPhone X).
    Nice heron image.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Bob. That’s too bad about disappointing images. I am finding mine to provide some nice ones when the big camera is not available, I am lazy, or just grabbing a record image for iNaturalist ID purposes. I’ve shared a couple here and will do more one of these days. I’d like to say I carry mine for safety too, but many of the places I go have weak or no service.

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  6. Now that’s a coincidence: three days ago I photographed my first green heron.
    Yeah, I’ve also wondered about people using their phones to photograph distant objects. Oh well, I noticed a long time ago that plenty of people will ooh and aah over pictures that are poorly done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to see it with small film cameras, those disposable things, before digital came along. I understand the excitement of seeing something cool and would probably do the same in a similar position. I think the acceptance of amateur photography on such a wide scale is mostly responsible for a drop in the demand for professional wok in publications. Between the huge improvement in automatic camera modes and the immense number of people clicking away, there is a glut of images and so many are willing to give away their work for the “exposure”.

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  7. krikitarts says:

    A real camera is (almost) always preferable to a phone, but there are times when it’s impractical, inconvenient, or just plain impossible to have one of the former along for whatever ride we’re on. I have become a fan of how good phone work can be and, though mine (a Samsung Galaxy S8) is no longer state-of-the-art, I’m impressed again and again with its capabilities. Sure, its range is quite limited and severe crops leave much to be desired, but it has earned a very treasured place in my photographic arsenal. Lovely shot of the heron, Steve,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I feel the same way about the phone, Gary. It has obtained several images for me that I would not have got otherwise. I certainly appreciate what it can do. I’ve made a few images while walking Bentley that would be impossible any other way.

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  8. I’ve never successfully gotten a picture of a heron so my hat is off to you. As far as the sub topic, I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a snob but there are photographers and there are people who take pictures. The thing is, the people who “take pictures“ really enjoy what they are doing to the utmost. So why not? The thing that bothers me is those who leave their flash on all the time and then try to shoot some distant object with a flash that only goes 6 to 10 feet, and then wonder why their pictures didn’t turn out. Never read the manual. But that goes back to my original statement. People enjoy things at the level they enjoy them. The important thing is, they enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I don’t read your comment as snobby and I hope mine doesn’t strike anyone that way. I did that myself plenty of times back in the day and always was astonished at how small the (fill in the blank) was compared to how my mind’s eye remembered it. I think that it is great so many people are enjoying photography although for those of us who sell our images that has made things more difficult as so many are willing to literally give their pictures away or settle for very little in return.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. shoreacres says:

    I never take my camera to work, but I’ve been tempted recently because of the influx of green herons. They’re everywhere: fishign off docks or mooring lines, fussing at one another, and generally being the noisy critters they are. They’re so common here I don’t pay them the attention I should, I guess. Maybe I need to take some time for them in the next weeks. I’m sure you know they’re our smallest heron species, which adds to their appeal. Small is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve taken mine on a few occasions. We have a hillside next to the store and years ago it never got mowed so I’d go to work early and make some images of the flowers and insects there. But it gets mowed now. Common can still be an interesting and attractive photograph. Go for the herons…We’d love to see what you come up with. Even something like this has potential. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Eliza Waters says:

    Such striking birds– Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a wonderful bird, and you got it at just the right moment of pose!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bluebrightly says:

    Green herons are so much fun. I have never been in a place where I see them as often as other herons so they always seem a little more special, and the way they compress themselves into fat bullets before striking is the best. This one has a wonderfully cantankerous look.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is my good fortune that Greens are what I see most often along the rail trail. They seem a bit more tolerant of photographers as well. That “coiling” posture before striking is telltale that something is about to happen. 🙂 This species especially does seem to cop an attitude. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. melissabluefineart says:

    Ha ha, yeah he does seem to cop an attitude 🙂
    I keep doing that~bringing a cell phone to a proper camera situation. I do alright, until I see what you can do! Like Lynn, I don’t see as many green herons as you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cell phones have improved a great deal. Although it was not at all a good one, I did manage to photograph a hummingbird with mine.I was standing motionless while out with Bentley near the feeder and raised my phone slowly so the bird didn’t leave. Got one halfway decent snap.

      Liked by 1 person

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