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Sunset cruise

Sunset cruise
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-12-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS USM, Digital ISO 100, Canon Extender EF 1.4x II
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds in Flight [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-12-11 5:01
Viewed: 6108
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Grey Heron
Ardea cinerea

I learned a new word "planform"
A planform or plan view is a vertical orthographic projection of an object on a horizontal plane, like a map. In aviation, a planform is the shape and layout of an airplane's wing.

I love "birds in flight" photos. I was hooked ever since I saw Gert's duck. I still have no duck in flight. :)

The shape of the wing is important in determining the type of flight of which the bird is capable, planform. This restricts the bird in some ways and enhances the bird in others. Wing shape can be described in terms of two parameters, aspect ratio and wing loading. Aspect ratio is the ratio of wing breadth to the mean of its Chord, or mean wingspan divided by wing area. Wing loading is the ratio of weight to wing area.

Amongst the birds there are four main kinds of wing that the majority of birds use, although in some cases wings may fall between two of the categories. These types of wings are elliptical wings, high speed wings, high aspect ratio wings and soaring wings with slots.

Elliptical wings
Elliptical wings are short and rounded, having a low aspect ratio, allowing for tight maneuvering in confined spaces such as might be found in dense vegetation. As such they are common in forest raptors (such as Accipiter hawks), and many passerines, particularly non-migratory ones (migratory species have longer wings). They are also common in species that use a rapid take off to evade predators, such as pheasants and partridges.

High speed wings
High speed wings are short, pointed wings that when combined with a heavy wing loading and rapid wingbeats provide an energetically expensive high speed. This type of flight is used by the bird with the fastest wing speed, the Peregrine Falcon, as well as by most of the ducks. The same wing shape is used by the auks for a different purpose; auks use their wings to "fly" underwater.

Soaring wings with deep slots
These are the wings favored by the larger species of inland birds, such as eagles, vultures, pelicans, and storks. The slots at the end of the wings, between the primaries, reduce the turbulence at the tips, whilst the shorter size of the wings aids in takeoff (High aspect ratio wings require a long taxi in order to get airborne).

sAner, Juyona, vanderschelden, horia, dew77, manyee, Janice, coasties, loot, soccer, JoseMiguel has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-12-11 6:11]

Hi Gerhard,

This is a nice and sharp shot, but I think the crop is a little too tight (especially in the right). I can also see some noise in the background. I think I would have used noise reduction in ps cs 2. Other than that, it's nice. Great note!



nice flight shot,
great lighting,
nice detail,


wow Great shot! Perfect colors, POV, DOF, love seeing him in flight...TFS
Donna :o)

Very cool Gerhard.
Out of time, later :)

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2006-12-11 8:52]

Maravillosa captura y buenos detalles, buena luz y nitidez, me gusta mucho este disparo... saludos Gerhard

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2006-12-11 9:02]

Hello Gerhard,
I also love "birds in flight" shots a lot.I'm adding yours to the theme. I don't think that the crop is too tight, I liked the framing. The light is very nice, a romantic flight in the late afternoon towards sunset :o) Very nice freezing of the action. TFS

Hi Gerhard,
Good in flight...700mm; that is a focal length!
Good work!

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-12-11 9:58]

Hi Gerhard

Indeed a very spectacular in-flight! I can see what hooked you about this type of nature photography...and you seem to be able to hook many more ;)
The sharpness here is impecalbe and the filling of the frame with this lovely heron gives a magnificent composition.
Also the warm light on it is exceptional, making all the colors of the bird shine and giving you a great contrast with the water.
Very very well done!
Bravo, TFS and have a great week.
Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-12-11 10:18]

Hello Gerhard,
Wonderful in flight capture.Warm lighting,POV,BG and composition are excellent.There is some little overexposed ares on head and may be would be better if you'd choosen spot metering or centerweight metering mode:)
Nevertheless great work with 1.4 TC !

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-12-11 10:55]

Hello Gerhard!
This is superb!
The POV, the details, the light, the pose, the action, the BG.
I love all of it. Just beautiful.
Maybe a bit more space to the right would not hurt. : )
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-12-11 17:56]

Poetry in flight.
And he makes it look so easy. Wonderful capture Gerhard, and your notes and comments are great to read - thanks
PS Gert's ducks are poetry as well!

Hi Gerhards

Excellent in-flight shot. I love Herons, but haven't managed to get an in-flight shot like this yet! Nice light and the OOF BG is really nice. Very good work. :-)

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-12-13 15:02]

Great pose, stunning details and excellent light



PT all out today

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-12-14 6:28]

Excellente prise,l'éclairage fait bien ressortir les détails du plumage et les belle couleurs de l'oiseau. bravo pour ce gros plan et merci pour l'envoie.


Hello Gerhard,
Outstanding this full extended view of this bird.
The POV used is so good, you were at the same level of bird's fligh, and the ilumination let us appreciate so clear all the details.
The background adds movement, the DOF works pretty well.

Hi Gerhard,
Just stunning. I was out at Miranda recently, lots of herons but impossible to sneek up onto to get this close...so elusive. Wonderful capture of this very beautiful bird...hopefully I'll nail a shot like this on '07.
BTW no over exposure on my monitior which is calibrated.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-12-30 19:30]

Hi Gerhard

Thanks for the new word, the very informative notes, and for the beautiful photo of this heron in flight.

Photographers like you and Gert (and obviously a couple of other select and highly talented people) have never seized to amaze me with your ability to shoot this kind of ‘in-flight’ photos. I mean, some of us have enough trouble shooting a descent photo of these birds standing still. Your shot is absolutely fabulous.

It is always easy to sit on the sideline and shout instructions, but once the ball is in the hands of some of us couch critics we tend to knock it on, time after time. So it is easy to say you needed more space in front of the bird (and that would be correct to say so) but reality and theory does not always meet eye to eye. I am sure you are perfectly aware of that nit and if you had any means to curtail that you would have done so. The colours here are stunning, the details are just awesome, the BG is awesomer (? – yes I know there is no such word, but it just sounded so much gooder in this case), and the exposure was spot-on (no signs of OE on my monitor either).

Very well done and TFS.
Best regards

PS. I wish for you and your loved ones a wonderful and fulfilling 2007.


An excellent action pic! The lighting, Sharpness, Composition, POV, BG and Detail are exceptional! I am very jealous!

A very nice close-up in flight shot of this elegant bird. The warm light illuminates the subject perfectly. :)

Wow, any tips you can offer on how to capture an image with such lighting and clarity would be appreciated.
This is wonderful and beautiful too!

Calibration Check