20 July 2010

Waders on Wednesday-Somewhere Under the Rainbow...(Great Egret)

I was a Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach recently (more images to come) and a sudden thunderstorm came plowing through (mostly rain).  It began to break up as quickly as it started and as I saw shafts of the late afternoon sun poking dramatically through the clouds, I grabbed my camera from the car where I had been hiding during the storm.  I just took the camera and tripod; wanting to go quickly and travel light, since I knew the dramatic lighting wouldn't last long.  Of course my battery died as soon as I turned the camera on, so my big time-saving move cost me the time to run back to the car to get a new battery. 

Finally I was able to capture a few images of the dramatic light as it filtered through the disintegrating storm clouds.  While I liked the color versions of these images, I think black and white works even better.  After all, the scene was really all about the light, and there was nothing particularly special about the colors.

As I took the series including this second image, I suddenly realized that enough light was now coming through the clouds to produce a rainbow (there wasn't one earlier, I checked...).  Sure enough, when I turned around, there was a beautiful rainbow behind me.  The scenery behind me, however, left quite a bit to be desired, so I grabbed my gear again (I had all of it with me now) and half ran along the path to the marshes.  I had been photographing a great egret (Ardea alba) there earlier in the day, so I must admit I had already somewhat pre-visualized this image once I knew the rainbow was in that direction.  Unfortunately, the rain was moving off in the distance quickly and the sun was getting too bright, having escaped most of the storm clouds.  I knew if I didn't get an image fast, the rainbow would be too faded to make a decent image.  I managed to shoot a few frames in rapid succession (and change compositions once) before the rainbow completely faded away.  Here is the best image from the series.

In the interests of full disclosure, I must tell you that the above image was one of the very rare times where I have cloned an object out using Photoshop.  I cloned out a barely visible thin white electric or telephone line running just above the tops of the background dunes.  It really was barely visible at all, if I showed you the original file your first response would probably be "what electric line?".  Post a comment below if you'd like me to post the unaltered image for comparison.

Have a great Wednesday and thanks for visiting!