Photo Of The Day – Heron And Mount Rainier

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Heron and Mount Rainier

Title: Heron and Mount Rainier

Location: Double Bluff Beach, Whidbey Island, Washington, USA


ISO 100
Focal Length 190mm
Shutter Speed 2.5 seconds
Aperture f/40
Exp Comp +1 stop
Time Of Day 3:57pm 13 minutes before sunset

This shot took some experimenting and a fair bit of post processing, which I tend to avoid but I had a certain picture in mind.  Shots of the heron at a ‘regular’ shutter speed of 1/8th and f/8 just weren’t working for me.  As you can see the water is fairly calm but there was that one small shore break behind the heron.  With a faster shutter speed, that wave was frozen and looked out of place.  So I decided to blur things a little.  Pushing my to its smallest aperture of f/40 gave me a shutter speed of 2.5 seconds.  It took me about 6 shots to get one where the heron was still enough for that long.  I also jockeyed back and forth, hurriedly, to frame the shot in a decent manner.

In post-production I removed some sensor spots made apparent by the small aperture.  I then leveled the horizon and made a copy of the background in Photoshop.  I masked the water from shoreline to the bottom.  Bumping up the contrast a bit, I removed a bit of blue saturation after upping the overall saturation.  I also brought the white point way in to darken things a bit.  Masking the top section from shoreline to sky, I increased saturation until it appeared as I remembered for just an hour before.  The sun was pretty intense as it was setting over the Olympic Mountains to my right, shining brightly on Mount Rainier and the coast.  I also fiddled with the contrast to create a bit more distinction between the mountain and sky (the slow shutter speed had reduced that somewhat).

In the end, this isn’t my normal type of shot.  But I wanted to play with something way softer than I’m used to and more pastel.  This bird and I were alone on the beach that night and I wanted to convey some of that solitude.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Photograph Copyright Peter West Carey

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5 Replies to “Photo Of The Day – Heron And Mount Rainier”

  1. Jessie Kwak

    Lovely! And you were so lucky to get a clear day in the winter.

    I just showed my husband, and we’re both quite nostalgic now (we’re from Seattle, but have been in Peru for the past 3 months).

    Cheers for that,

  2. TheWordWire

    What a hauntingly beautiful shot! I enjoyed my own visit to Mt. Rainier so much, this photo makes me feel peaceful and relaxed remembering it. Thank you!

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