Anatomy of a hunt………

Now that my health issues seem to be improving day by day, I have finally felt more like getting back out in the field.  I think my recovery is going to be much quicker than I thought.  On Monday we took off for a couple of hours and  I was able to observe this Great Blue Heron hunting along a shoreline.  I was about 150 feet, (50 yards) away, when I first saw him.  I stopped the car, rolled down the window and turned off the engine.  I propped my Canon 70D with my Tamron 150-600mm lens on the sill, and composed through the viewfinder for the hopeful shots to come.

I would like to mention here, that I decided to experiment with back-button auto-focusing.  Whereas you use the AF-ON button on the back of the camera instead of using the shutter half-way.  It can be used on most Canon SLR cameras.  I think I am going to like that method.  I think you will agree from the images below, that the system worked fine for me.  Click on the above link for a detailed explanation.

Anyway, I didn’t have to wait too long.  After a few minutes, some movement in the water attracted his attention.  I pressed the shutter, which was set for high-speed multiple shooting and I was able to get the following sequence of his success.  I must say though, that there was actually about fifteen images taken in the space of about two seconds,  but because at the high speed of the series, many of them looked pretty much the same, so I am showing you five of the basics to tell the story.

Just waiting and watching

Just waiting and watching

Hey, what was that that I saw from the corner of my eye?

Hey, what was that that I saw from the corner of my eye?

Better check it out.

Better check it out.

Gad. this water is yucky.  Must keep it out of my eyes.

Gad. this water is yucky. Must keep it out of my eyes.

I don't know what you are, but you are all mine, weeds and all.

I don’t know what you are, but you are all mine, weeds and all.

I am not sure what he caught.  I think there may have been a crawfish, but also some weed.  Anyway, he swallowed it all.

Exposure was Aperture Priority, f8 @ 1/800 sec.  ISO was on auto, and varied between 400 and 800.

Click on the images to see great enlargements.  Hope you enjoy.


21 thoughts on “Anatomy of a hunt………

  1. Bob – glad that you are feeling better!!!! Back-button focus (BBF) is the camera’s BFF! Started using it a few months and it’s had an impact for sure. Love the heron images!

  2. You have the best luck with the GBH’s. They are wary of me even from inside a car. Perhaps I need a burr cut as a disguise…

    I also have been habitually using the back buttons on the camera body. Not only is it easier to do a quick auto-focus when zeroing in on the subject (before pressing the shutter), but holding the AE lock (*) usually nails the exposure when shadowing or contrast is troublesome. I’ve become a three-finger “clicker” on my right hand. Love that Canon!

  3. the clarity is your back focus worked..I don’t know what he caught either, but yuk!! Oh Well, his appetite is a little different than ours..have a wonderful day and glad you are back and your health is being restored..

  4. Good to hear that you’re feeling better! Whatever your health problems were, they sure didn’t affect your photography, it’s better than ever!

    I’ve been using the back button for auto-focus for a while now, it does seem faster and slightly more accurate. But, the problem is that I have run out of fingers and thumbs to operate all the camera controls. 😉 I use my middle finger on the shutter release, my index finger to control the aperture, and now my thumb has to do double duty, auto-focus and adjust the exposure.

  5. Great pictures, Bob! Glad to hear you’re feeling much better, too. Who’s hunting who…ha ha. Thanks for the reminder about the back-button auto-focusing. Something else to play with! 🙂

  6. Thrilled to hear you are feeling better, Bob!! Wonderful series of photos. I really enjoyed them. I love clicking on the images to see the larger versions – outstanding!

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