TRICOLORED HERON

Four years ago, I met a Japanese photographer whose hobby was traveling all over the United States photographing wildlife in national parks. We met at a common friends wedding he was photographing and I mentioned to him my interest in wildlife photography. He suggested I check out the Wakodahatchee Wetlands Nature Park, a nature preserve in Delray Beach, Florida, which is a sanctuary to a large number of birds plus a few other animals. He said that I’ll get a lot of good shots of these birds in their natural habitat. I’ve been planning to visit the park since then but I always fail to find time. This morning I decided to be a little more spontaneous and drove 30 miles to the park.

At the park, I encountered hundreds of birds but what really caught my attention was this lonesome tricolored heron that was trying to catch its breakfast in one of the many ponds around the park. I was standing on the boardwalk right above it but my presence didn’t seem to bother it all. I was able to take photos of it quietly standing behind the reeds preparing for its attack as well as of it flying over the pond to catch its next meal. My only regret is failing to capture it with a fish between its beaks.

Today I was finally able to try on fast shutter speeds (used 1/2000) to photograph this heron on flight but unfortunately missed to program my camera to multiple shots, which would have allowed me to take more shots of the entire flight. Still, I’m very happy with the results including the lighting and colors resulting to very minimal need for post-processing. I used a Canon Rebel T6s camera with a Canon EF-S 18-200mm lens for these photographs.

PARTY OF FOUR

My friends Gary and Melanie have always been my ever reliable fans when it comes to my photography. I have taken their engagement photos back in 2015 and when they were expecting their first baby in 2019 I also took their maternity photos. So when they found out they were expecting baby number two, it didn’t come as a surprise when they asked me to take their maternity photos again. They wanted the photoshoot at the beach so I suggested the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Pier just north of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I thought having the pier in the background would be a nice addition to the sun, surf and sand. We timed the photoshoot early in the morning so as the light from the sun was not at its harshest. These photos were taken end of January and on the first week of April they welcomed a healthy baby boy into their family. Perhaps our next project will be a family portrait…we’ll see.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE BEE KIND

Whenever I see a bee, I always run the opposite direction. I grew up fearing them after seeing the swollen faces of neighborhood kids after getting stung by one. Today I decided to overcome my fear, after all, should I get stung on the cheeks or lips then I get instant fillers for free. LOL. I was walking my dog this morning when I noticed these bees happily hovering over a bed of flowers. Thanks to my ever reliable iPhone 11 Pro Max I was able to capture these pollinators at work. I took these photos with the subject about 6-10 inches away from my phone. I guess today is my lucky day as none of them got pissed at me for crossing into their personal space. No puffy cheeks and lips though but these close-up photographs are more than good enough for me today.

LITTLE JAPANESE UMBRELLAS

I saw these beautiful mushrooms during my walk with my dog this morning. As she was doing her business, I noticed this cluster of umbrella looking mushrooms growing gracefully amongst grasses and shrubs. The sunlight, filtered by the trees above it, created the perfect mood lighting for a photograph. Thanks to my iPhone 11 Pro Max, I was able to instantly capture the scene and this one is my favorite. Upon further research, I discovered that they are called Pleated Inkcap, and sometimes as the Little Japanese Umbrella. Luckily I photographed them at the perfect time as they decay within 24 hours that by tomorrow I will never see any evidence that these beauties ever existed.

SUNRISE AT THE PIER

About two miles north of my apartment building is a pier that I’ve always wanted to photograph during sunrise but it remained a goal for so long now as I unfortunately have never been able to get out of bed that early. Today was a special case as my friends (husband and wife) asked me to take their maternity photos at the beach and wanted the shoot early in the morning to capture the sunrise. I agreed to the early morning shoot in order to finally cross out the pier on my to photograph list. It was a beautiful morning with a generous amount of puffy clouds for a much needed drama to my composition. I had my Canon DSLR with me but didn’t have my wide angle lens so I decided to use my iPhone 11 Pro Max for these wide angle shots, which surprisingly turned out very good. I love taking photographs of sunrises and sunsets and the sun in itself is magnificent enough for a subject, however, an additional subject in the foreground, such as a pier in this case, can make a sunrise or sunset photo more dramatic.

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