Sunday, July 3, 2011

July "Photo of the Month" column

Great Egret Portrait                       
Photo of the month / Eric Horan
July/ 2011 Lowcountry Calendar

Using a tripod mounted 500 mm lens, I made this image of the Great Egret on a visit to the Savannah Wildlife Refuge. I followed her as she fished the waters edge. For some time, I purposely kept her between the sun and myself to maintain the strong back lighting. Behind the bird you can see the pale blue sky reflected in the water. All this made for a high key portrait with a limited color palette. A natural backlight, the bird’s gesture, and a monochromatic color palette were the image qualities I used to create this portrait.


Good wildlife photography requires a diverse and variable set of skills and choices.  With each situation, you will have to employ different ones in various combinations to enhance your success.  Anticipation, patience, knowledge of subject, stalking, listening, lens selection, color mix, control of light, composition elements and camera position are a sampling of ingredients. For this shot, I used a combination that included choice of lens, camera position, back lighting, subject knowledge and anticipation of the bird’s movement in order to isolate the Great Egret against this natural backdrop for a studio-like portrait.

To see more about Eric Horan, his images and his Lowcountry Wildlife Photo Safaris, please visit us at


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