Photographing a Night Heron Landing

I was very fortunate today and was able to capture some images of a night heron landing. Photographing birds is always a bit of a hit or miss proposition. Sometimes Mother Nature cooperates, and sometimes not. 

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-320

I had just finished photographing a few turtles basking on an old log when I saw some motion out of the corner of my eye.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-280

Not having any time to adjust my camera settings, I wheeled around to my left and was able to quickly acquire focus on a night heron landing on a berm at Hendrie Valley.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-320

Luckily I had been watching for ospreys fishing and had my camera set for AF-C with subject tracking at 10 fps.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-320

Shooting with Manual settings and Auto ISO 160-3200, I had slowed my shutter speed in order to photograph the turtles at a lower ISO.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-320

Ideally I would have wanted to capture this night heron with somewhat faster shutter speeds, but overall I was quite pleased with the resulting images.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-1250

The night heron did stay perched for a while and I got a few additional images of it. I noticed a kayak coming down the channel and I anticipated that the heron would take flight. Unfortunately I lost my concentration for a split second just as the heron took flight and I missed my attempt at another AF-C run. Maybe next time…

Technical Note:
All images were captured hand-held in available light using a Nikon 1 V3 and 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens. All photographs in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 11, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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4 thoughts on “Photographing a Night Heron Landing”

  1. Hi Tom,

    Wonderful action shots I must say again. That CX 70-300 gets a lot of action, just judging from your recent posts here and in Photography Life. Thanks for sharing your settings — will try my hand again in birding when the opportunity comes up.

    Oggie

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