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Posts Tagged ‘silhouettes’

Some folks are a bit shocked when I post photos of mating insects, so here is a more discreet look at a damselfly couple in tandem that I encountered last week at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge. Somehow I can’t help but think of the old doo wop song “Silhouettes,” which recounts the story of a man who sees two silhouettes on a shade. He thinks his girlfriend is kissing another guy, only to find out that he is at the wrong house.

I may have heard the original version by The Rays that came out in 1957, but suspect I actually recall the cover version done by Herman’s Hermits that came out in 1965. In case you have never heard the song or are simply feeling nostalgic, here is a link to YouTube for the original version and a link to the cover by Herman’s Hermits.

damselflies

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I suspected that this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge would be silhouetted because I was shooting into the light. I was going to make some adjustments to my camera settings, but it took off before I could do so and I captured a cool series of images.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

I liked the way that a few details of the feathers were visible in the images and the pink and blue streaks in the background were a nice touch. I decided, however, to play around with one of the images and opened the second shot in SIlver Efex Pro 2, a black and white conversion software program that is part of the Nik Collection.

One of the filters turned the heron into a completely black silhouette—with some birds, identification would be a problem, but the shape of the heron is unmistakable here. Another filter created the effect of a pinhole camera and you can see the result in the final images. There is something about that final image that really appeals to me.

I tend to strive for realism in my photos and normally do only a minimal amount of post-processing. I had so much fun, though, playing around with the different effects you can achieve with software that I suspect I will consider doing so again in the future.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Without fill-in light, a backlit subject is often in the shadows and becomes a silhouette, which is what happened in these shots of a Great Blue Heron taking off from a watery area of my local marshland park. The same sunlight in front of me also created beautiful reflections of the heron in the water, and I really like the combination of the silhouettes and reflections in these images.

This heron was getting ready to give chase to another blue heron and was squawking loudly as it took off. I watched the two herons for quite a while and this one went out of his ways several times to harass the other one and force it to search for prey in the vegetation away from the pool of water. As you can see in the second and third photos, a Great Egret was a spectator to the action, lifting up its head to observe what was going on. When things calmed down, the egret returned to its fishing until the next round of activity from the herons.

heron_silhouette1_blog heron_silhouette2_blogheron_silhouette3_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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