Slavonian Grebe, Alston Reservoirs - CLICK ON IMAGES FOR LIGHTBOX

THE SLAVONIAN GREBE CONTINUES AT ALSTON RESERVOIRS. Still on the 'more accessible' no. 1 reservoir, I managed to catch up with it again today, this time in bright sunshine. The sunshine deepens the blue colour of the water and for the same reason that early morning shadows are blue, the shorter wavelength blue part of the spectrum is not absorbed by the water and is reflected. There are a couple of things to remember when photographing birds on water. First of all shooting in RAW allows you to change the white balance and these images were processed at 7500K (i.e. warmer than the 'cloudy' setting). This reduces the intensity of the blue light reflected by the surface of the water. Believe it or not the water was actually much bluer than this at a daylight (i.e. sunshine) white balance setting. I often think that deep blue backgrounds distract from bird subjects. The second thing is that waves create constantly changing patterns so high burst mode is worthwhile to catch either a nice distribution of wave shadows in the background as well as any (desirable?) splashes of water. The three shots below are consecutive frames at 14fps showing how much can happen in such a fraction of a second! As usual it's all a question of personal taste, there is not right and wrong, this is just my preference. Back to the grebe itself, you can see that it has now moulted its cheek feathers and looks much smarter!