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Pauline say's ......... ' This is a lesson in how not to delete after looking at pics on the monitor of the camera (known as 'chimping' I think - or something like that!). I'm not saying this or the others taken that day are the best heron shots ever - but they have manipulated up quite well considering!'

The camera info reads: 1/1000 sec: Aperture 1:5:6: Shutter Priority: ISO 1600 Shutter speed 1/500 sec: Aperture 4.

It had gone from drizzle to pouring with rain and I was idly waiting on the car park for the better half and his mother to come back from looking at the water rails when I looked up and realised a heron had landed on the post. It was at least 80 yards distant in awful weather but frustrated from lack of camera work I decided nothing would be lost by trying my luck so I quickly assembled the 500 prime onto my camera and resting it out of the window on the wing mirror, I waited for the heron to do something!

I set on Shutter priority instead of Aperture hoping that the bird would fly eventually and that I would get it it - it did and I didn't! But I did get a series of shots which I thought were destined for the bin when I got back. Even after downloading I was convinced they were useless.... sheer determination to have something made me take them thro the usual steps after downloading: Edge presserving smooth, fade correct - which made the colour jump clear and began me thinking these might just rescue, colour adjustments, slight saturation, levels which warmed and darkened and brought even more detail - and also much more grain - to be expected at 1600 ISO! Final sharpening improved things further, so I followed up with a trip to Neat Image to sort out the grain and 'hey presto' end result carefully cropped - not too close - just on the edge of pixelating...........

So the moral is two things - one the 500 prime will give results in the most dire weather - just imagine a pro camera on the end of it instead of the old 20D ...... and two always push your luck and see what you can get - the delete button is there at the end if it doesn't work!

I put this series of shots up on birdguides.com and got praise - one comment caused me to grin from ear to ear - when asked if this is what I could do in bad weather what was I going to produce in good weather and good light closer to the birds? My answer was '....... a heart attack probably!'
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