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Autumn Heron

Autumn HeronOn a cool autumn morning I found this Gray Heron fishing along the river bank. It seemed preoccupied with other nearby herons and allowed me to approach closer then usual.

Post-processing this image I strongly simplified the elements of the original photo. I don’t normally push post-processing as far as this, but sometimes stepping beyond “normal” is a good mental and artistic exercise.

I like this particular interpretation for a number of reasons. While the elements of the photo have been reduced to a simplistic form I believe it still clearly imparts its story–perhaps better then originally. The abundant white space provides a sense of quiet and while the actual moment was indeed quiet, the original photo didn’t represent this well. Also, the autumn colors give an impression of autumn or fall, again part of the story or moment perhaps lost in the original photo.

There are other things as well but those are a few of the main points.

Certainly these may only be my personal perceptions. I’d be interested in hearing yours.

3 Comments on Autumn Heron

  1. First of all I like the pose and your crop. By adding the colored foliage, and in just the right place, you’ve drawn focus to the heron.

    I usually like to present my nature images with little post-processing but play around some with abstracts, street scenes, people. Every once in awhile I may get an over/under exposed image and will work on it because of the composition, subject, etc.

    In this image you have created an artistic version of what you saw. The post-processing tools we have now allow our images to appear as paintings or drawings. As a photographer it is good for us to experiment with them. Well done, Earl.

  2. @Monte: Thanks for your kind words. I’ve probably studied this image twenty times since I’ve posted it and am still wavering on if it works. :-)

    In the original photo the water was an abundance of small ripples which seemed to overwhelm the subject of the photo (the heron) and left your eyes busily searching across the whole frame. So in that regard this is a much better version. I didn’t wamt to post the original version as a “before” comparison because I was more interested in how the “after” would stand on its own.

  3. My first thought when I saw the image and hadn’t a clue what the text revealed, I was taken with the simplicity of this. With your processing you have stripped out all the extraneous details, including anything beyond a limited, expressive color palette, and directed me to the central story line. For me, this one of those cases where your artistic vision takes this beyond a literal photograph and makes a strong and coherent statement. Other than that I’m not too crazy about it. ;)

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