In its most literal definition, photography mean writing with light. In its most applicable definition, photography is writing with light. This of course, is something that we can never forget. You may have the greatest subject in the world, but if you have the wrong light, than you most likely cannot successfully make a worthwhile image. Well, unless you have an authentic photograph of Bigfoot or something, than regardless of the bad lighting you’ll make millions!
With that said, here is a photograph of a tri-colored heron (TCH) that I made the other day while walking along the trails at Bodie Island Lighthouse (pronounce Body) at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. I had known about this trail, but had never actually hiked it untill a couple of days prior to this.
If you click on the photograph and make it larger, you can see from the “whitewash” of the perch that this is an awfly popular place for birds come. For some time now, birds have been standing here looking out over the marsh in typical stoic fashion, contemplating the bigger questions of life – such as “where’s my next meal?”
Noticing this as I walked by the first time, I suspected that with the right lighting conditions, angle of the sun, and camera position so as to take advantage of this beautiful background, that this place might be worth coming back to. Well lucky for me, just a couple of days later we were graced by a nice light film of clouds. You know the kind. Where a slight over cast comes through with just the right density so as to slightly diffuse the light yet still casting shadows.
As I came across this spot, several of these birds flew off sqwaking in indignation. I assumed that if I was patient that they would return so long as I was willing to just wait them out. Fortunately, this only took about 10 minutes before this one flew back in. I was pushed up slightly into the wax myrtles nearby, not completely camoflauged but at least making an attempt to blend in.
With just a tab bit of souting, some forethought, and a short wait, I was afforded the opportunity to photograph this heron from just 20 feet away until my heart was content.