<< Previous Next >>

Taking a Break

Taking a Break
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, NIKKOR AF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 ED DX VR
Exposure: f/9.5, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Superb Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-11-28 18:13
Viewed: 4175
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I was checking out the Marina in Townsville when I came across this Striated Heron (Butorides striatus) just taking a break on the rock next to the water. He may have been doing some preening just prior to my arrival; you can still see a feather in the end of his beak. He wasn’t particularly worried about me, until I came in closer for a portrait. He then just moved down along the water.

This is a coastal bird, found along the North and East Coasts of Australia. It is also found in North and South America, Africa, Asia, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. It prefers habitats of mangroves and intertidal flats.

They feed on crabs and other crustaceans, as well as mollusks and small fish. They will stalk prey slowly, either standing and waiting for prey to emerge, or may sometimes plunge at it from a perch, before stabbing it with its sharp bill.

They build nests in mangroves, building rough flimsy stick platforms about 3 – 9 metres over the water. Both sexes share nest-building, egg incubation and care of the young. Two broods may be raised in a season.

Much of this from: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/finder/display.cfm?id=190
ID from: Simpson K. and Day N. (2004), Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Penguin Books, Camberwell.

Workflow for this shot was as follows:
The shoot – shot in Raw with Jpeg reference
NEF file adjusted for exposure and shadow
Adjusted levels for black and white points
Adjusted curves for contrast
Burned and Dodged with overlay layer (3-10% opacity black and white brush)
Added saturation layer +15 to master, then masked out most of the area around the bird @ 50%
Saved as a tiff
For this post, cropped, reduced image size, duplicated the original layer, selectively reduced noise on the water, picked the inverse selection and sharpened with USM (toned down edges and lower rock with layer mask and 50% opacity black brush), framed, and saved as a jpeg

Jamesp, jhm, mlines, Argus, rcrick, pierrefonds, snowfalken, cam, jusninasirun, iris has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hi John
Very sharp image.Nice colors and detail. good composition.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-11-28 18:23]

Hi John,
Anothet fantastic portrait shot and this Heron looks so beautiful. Very impressive sharpness and details on its plumage with lovely colours. Superb lighting, exposure and a precise DOF. I like the intense seraching look on its eyes. Excellent POV to portray it and very nicely composed. Kudos.

Hi John,
you submit a very nice capture of this beautiful heron with nice focus, POV, composition and colors. Nicely farmed. good notes. TFS, well done

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-11-28 22:49]

Hi John

Lovely image - great detail in the feathers. I also like the heron to one side of the shot.


  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2007-11-28 23:46]

Hello John,

Wonderful pose of this small Heron, we see lovely the eye and the beak.
Superb lighting and exposure and a precise DOF, very well done.

Best regards,

Hi John, Good to see you back after a spell away. I love bird shots and is the main interest in photography as you know. I like the clarity and colours of this close up along with excellent notes. TFS. Murray.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-11-29 8:32]

Hello John,
Welcome back!
Great capture of a Striated Heron in a fine pose and set in an excellent composition and POV that shows the bird at its best with good sharpness.
Thanks for sharing this one and for you kind words on my 300th!

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-11-29 11:09]

Hello John, very nice shot of the Heron, the bird is very sharp, the BG is just fine and the exposure is great. Well done,


Hi John,

Nice picture off this Heron. I don't normally like high pov's, but in this case it works very effectively. Nice level of detail and lots of tones and textures in the feathers.

Kind regards,


Hi John, congrats really nice sharp image, stunning colours & well framed, all the best Cheers Rick:)

Hi John,

A nice image of the Striated Heron, the photo has agood composition, sharpness and beautiful colors. Thanks for sharing.


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2007-11-30 4:12]

hehehe i like a lot the position and the face expression of the bird,very nice pic in colours and details,thanks for share,Luciano

Hello John,

The picture was well composed and the space around the heron correctly distributed! The colors look natural and the contrast was well adjusted! The frame compliments your shot!
I found it very interesting when I read your PP workflow! It was well written, detailed and informative! Thank you!

With Friendly Regards,

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2007-12-09 12:29]

Bonjour John,

Bravo pour cette belle capture,cet oiseau est très joli.
Merci pour le partage.

Hello John,
Ohhh, that is a fine fellow!
I love the pose, he looks so cunning like working out an evil scheme, hehehehe...
DOF spot on isolating the bird nicely, fine 3-D effect!
Pablo -

Hi John,

Very sharp capture, I like the composition, you left good space on the left for the bird. Well done!


  • Great 
  • cam Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 85 W: 0 N: 78] (360)
  • [2008-01-30 20:18]

Hi John
Quite impressive PP work here for an excellent results.
Things that I should practice.
At first, i thought I was looking at nycticorax nycticorax, but the red eye is missing.
But, in my book,butorides striatus is not like that.So I went on the net and realize that the picture in my book is not the right one, unless there is a difference between Canada and Australia.
No matter what, your picture is sharp and with a good bookeh.
Have a good day.

Philosophic bird and lovely photo!

Hello John. I have one capture of Chinese Pond-Heron with different color but the texture of the plumage is almost like this one. I have been hesitating to make the post because the quality of the image is no where near this one.
What you have here is top quality image with good lighting exposing flawless sharpness and details. I like the contemplating look of the open space in this fellow eye in a fine perch at the edge of this cliff. The yellow ring around the eye is so distinctive leading to the beak. Please allow me to add this to my personal theme as I like to have a look at it again. Kind regards. Jusni

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-06-08 21:08]

Hi John

I dug this one out of your gallery while looking at your cpatures.A really fine image of the resting heron.And this is a new kind although herons can be seen around here.I like its captured pose as if in a very cosy and comfortable position.Maybe it was preening..i can see a bit of feather on its beak...the details on its plumage have been picked up exceleently and they truly live up to the name "striated heron"....the capture in natural habitat enriched the content of this comoposition.
Very well done.
TFS & Cheers

Calibration Check