A Very blue Blue Heron.

Rain is predicted for the next 10 days, not every day it will skip days and in the end seem as if it never did. There is a high level of hope it will extinguish the remaining wildfires and delay any more being started. It may clean the air enough for me to begin my photographic project for pictures of local places of interest. I’m doing it for a man that owns several houses and rents them for weekends and vacations.

I have for a while been working on taking pictures in low light, last night I went out an hour prior to sunset to take advantage of the light. I was ready to return to the house because it was nearly too dark to see and my camera (I thought) doesn’t do well in that condition. A Great Blue Heron happened to fly in before I wrapped things up, I took several pictures. I uploaded them to my editor and was surprised with the results.

They didn’t need a lot of adjustments mainly lightening, and color only because I take my photos in RAW. The Great Blue Heron is Blue Jay blue, I have not seen that before, honestly I did not enhance the colors at all. It was nearly dark with the Sun just under the Western horizon, it was casting a small bit of orange light. I had set the camera to a high ISO of 3200 the shutter was 1/80th, the good news is I discovered how to take photos in low light.

Each image resulted with the same bright blue Heron, I don’t know why it happened. This blue may be its natural color when out of the bright Sun. It may be that the Sun is reflected off of the birds plumage during the day resulting in the slate grey we are accustomed to. Perhaps without the Sun shining on it the blue naturally is prominent. I really don’t know nor do I know how to find out.

The Blue Heron is out until after Sundown often, I see him fly past the big window overlooking the slough. This ads mystery to them however it clearly is an indication of how they received the name. Once in a while I am able to make a blueish tinge during editing but I have never been able to create an image this distinct. It seems they would be more successful hunters if the sky blue color was displayed during the daylight. It seems it would help them blend in to the sky and surface of the water.

Each image is the same color which tells me it is not an anomaly; the colors of the background are accurate as well. All I can surmise is the Sun has at least something to do with it, but I like it. I will attempt to replicate it, if it repeats itself a few times the next step is to figure out the reason.

It brings to mind my hypothesis that birds (Crows, Ravens) have the ability to see others in an entirely different array of colors. Many birds sport feathers that shine in the Sunlight displaying a shiny surface. But it wouldn’t make too much sense for it to apply to Herons, Egrets and Waterfowl. Needless to say I was surprised by the Great (blue) Blue Heron.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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