Great Blue Heron In-flight with E-M1X

This short article shares a selection of images of a Great Blue Heron in-flight images that were captured handheld using an Olympus OM-D E-M1X, M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom and M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/1600, ISO-1000

Like most photographers, I have preferred wing positions with bird-in-flight images. This photograph of a Great Blue Heron in-flight with its wings down is one of my favourite positions. I also like the water reflections on the underside of its left wing.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/1600, ISO-1000

The same type of image with a bird flying closer to the water adds more drama. In this photograph the Great Blue Heron’s wing is almost touching the surface of the water. The photograph would have been even better if the bird’s wing tip had been cutting through the surface of the water.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/1600, ISO-1000

A bird-in-flight with up-stretched wings is also a position that I like quite a bit. It is photographs like the one above that have me appreciate shooting with a 4:3 ratio as there is less chance of wing clipping.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/1600, ISO-1000

Like a gangly teenager, the wings on the Great Blue Heron in-flight in the above image look visually confusing.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/1600, ISO-1000

In the photograph above, we have the same type of wing position of a Great Blue Heron in-flight. This image has more visual interest because the heron is dragging its feet along the surface of the water. This small detail adds an increased feeling of motion and action.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/1600, ISO-800

A Great Blue Heron in-flight will sometimes squawk while it is flying. This often happens as it approaches other birds to announce its arrival. Capturing a photograph with its beak open adds some interest.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, -0.7 step, 1/1600, ISO-1000

The photograph above shows one of my favourite great blue heron in-flight body positions. Up-stretched wings with its feet dragging through the water and kicking up a nice splash trail. If only it had its beak open!

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Photographs were cropped using a native 4:3 ratio then resized for web use.

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2 thoughts on “Great Blue Heron In-flight with E-M1X”

  1. Well done as usual Tom. I love to photo the Great Blues and you have done an excellent job of pointing out the shots which create the most interest. Now if I can just get the birds to fly in a way that allows me to photograph them in those modes I will be happy.

    Joel

    1. Thanks Joel… I’m glad you enjoyed the images! I’ve found that waiting for the Great Blues to come in to land, or them taking off, brings them in closest to the surface of the water. Those situations creates the best opportunities for their digits to drag along the water.

      Tom

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