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On golden pond

On golden pond
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: 2006-10-15
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS USM, Digital ISO 400, Kenko Pro 300 1.4x DG TConv.
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Movietitles [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-10-25 5:27
Viewed: 6668
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Purple Heron
Ardea purpurea

The Purple Heron is a colourful large heron in South Africa, with a distinctive snake-like neck which is usually held in a prominent kink. Its colourful plumage actually provides excellent camouflage among the reeds.

Purple Herons feed mainly on fish, but will also eat insects, amphibians, and occasionally shellfish, small mammals, reptiles and even small birds.

Purple Herons are shy and solitary hunters, and appear to hunt mostly at night continuing into the early morning. They don't often wade in deep water and prefer to stand-and-wait in cover, staying motionless for long periods in shallow water or perched on low dense trees and bushes. Their slim bills are large and strong enough to kill even large snakes. Their long necks give them a long and powerful reach.

One reason for their shyness could be because Grey Herons (Ardea cinera) often steal the Purple Herons' catch when they are hunting close to each other. Purple Herons become even more shy during breeding season, preferring to hunt near cover. Purple Herons defend their feeding territory from each other by aggressively puffing out neck feathers and raising crests.

While Purple Herons prefer to roost in coastal areas (mangroves, marshes, estuaries), they prefer to feed in freshwater wetlands. Although in world-wide distribution, they are more widespread than the Grey Heron, the Purple Heron is less tolerant of disturbed and artificial habitats.

I have not given you impressions of the lens yet. :)

The lens is worth every cent it costs. It is tack sharp even with the converter. Without the converter no sharpening is needed. The AF is very fast but slows down 3X when using the TC. It is not ideal for birds in flight. The "bokeh" is stunning in most captures. The lens is very heavy, even for a big man like myself you cannot take more that 3-5 photos in row. Most tri-pod heads are to tiny and one needs to invest in a solid head like a wimberley or RSS or Jobu-design.

dew77, LordPotty, horia, vanderschelden, pilonm, pvs, ddg, Argus, jeanpaul, Janice, sAner, livios, romuszka has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To livios: Thanx for the kind wordsgerhardt 1 11-20 08:59
To dew77: Suitable for flyers...gerhardt 1 10-25 06:34
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Critiques [Translate]

Beautiful colour and textures in this composition Gerhard.
Tack sharp as usual.
Perfect shot.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-10-25 5:41]
  • [+]

Hello Gerhard,
Excellent capture.Golden colors of heron and BG are great.I liked POV,lighting,clear details,sharpness,framing and composition also a lot.I have the same lens but no canon camera yet:).Is it not suitable for flying birds with TC or also alone?

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-10-25 5:50]

Smashing! Simply amazing!
What a superb shot, Gerhard! The warm light here is almost everything. You managed to seaze this moment magnificently.
Excellent POV and impeacble DOF, lovely colors, details and textures.
Also very well frmaed and composed.
Congratulations on your new lens, too! It realy is worth every cent, from waht i can see from your shots. Hope to see many more picture taken with it :)
Anyway...enjoy it :)

Cheers and TFS

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-10-25 5:57]

Hi Gerhard!

Simply magicall light and colours. Like melting gold. Your new lens works great my friend!

Well done, Gerhard.
Focus,DOF, POV and background make this shot really work.



Hi Gerhard,
Wow! This is a really stunning picture! I like those warm colors and details you caught. I think I have never seen a Purple Heron so far. This is a funny name because I think he looks more orange than purple here. Maybe, this might comes from the way you process it or this lightning? This POV, DOF, colors, contrast and composition and very pleasant. I liked your notes about him and about this lens you have. As I usually take my pictures hand held, I think this one should be too heavy from me but it seems to work very well :) Thanks,

Great light, great sharpness, lovely pose, good composition. Superb image.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2006-10-25 7:27]

Hello Gerhard,
Fabulous shot of the Purple Heron which is such a beautiful bird. Excellent focus and great composition. I presume this was shot in the evening sun light or how come the golden colour? (The title reminds me of the film with the same name!)
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • fryz Silver Star Critiquer [C: 19 W: 2 N: 3] (120)
  • [2006-10-25 8:25]

très belle couleur et très bonne mise en valeur
bravo Gerhard

Hi Gerhard,
a lovely picture wiht this Golden tones and colours.
The shallow is very good, the bird standout well from the nice BG.
The sharpness and details are slightly better than your first camera, Minolta Z1. ;-))))
Great work, my friend.

Good picture. Extraordinary 'gold' parts.

beautiful light, matches the birds colour, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2006-10-25 10:11]

Hello Gerhard,

What an amazing picture of a Purple Heron! You got a great pov, and like especially the warm colors!!! DOF and composition cannot be better (I like the green vegetation on the right framing the bird...). Great job and TFS,


  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-10-25 11:10]

Hi Gerhardt,

Wonderfull capture with good sharpness and details,I like the yellow/gold colortone a lot well done and TFS and good luck with your new lens,


  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-10-25 13:07]

Bonjour Gerhard, amazing capture of this Purpel Heron, Golden colors of the bird and around are beautiful, very good composition and great details too. T like it a lot, best regards, Didier.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-10-25 13:25]

Hello Gerhard,
This shot has all the merits of a top shot with the added bonus that the play of colours has the effect of it looking like a fine piece of marquetry.
This shot does inspire one to get a new lens but even after considering the economics I had better stick to my 300 when you describe the weight training one would have to endure!
Thanks for the photo and the info.
Best wishes, Ivan

bonjour gerhard
il fallait bien un 500mm + le kenko pour l'avoir d'aussi bien,car si c'est comme moi je n'ai pas le temps d'approcher.tres reussi.bravo.

Hello Gerhard,

excellent colors with perfect details, very well composed and capture photo, Nice POV DOF BG, excellent work, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-10-25 21:47]

Excellente composition et superbe éclairage.
Merci pour le partage.

Salut Gerhard
Très belle photo que ce bel oiseau,Tu as eu vraiment de la chance d'avoir pu prendre cette superbe photo. Beau cadrage , belle composition les détails sont supers et très joli BG
Merci et au revoir ....JP
Les sourires demain

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-10-28 4:35]

Gerhard, your heron is a beauty, so sharp and so colourful. Excellent result, especially against that BG. TFS

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-11-07 6:52]

Wow, what a nice picture Gerhard. The colors and the warm light are phenomenal. Composition and POV are good. DOF is amazing. What a sweet lens this must be. I wish I could get my dirty little hands on them. :)


Gerhard, great warm shades here.

I like exposure and saturation too. Excellent sharpness.

Let me ask you: does autofocus work with the converter?

Take care.


Nice shot, good sharpness, nice bird, good composition, but a little bit strange colours!!

Hi Gerhard

You posted this shot while I was away competing in the Targa Rally. Sorry I missed it, but I have seen it now and what an impressive shot it is. Love the colour. Stunning work Gerhard. That lens is fantastic. :-)


Awesome lighting and sharpness indeed. The BG is far enough removed from the pic. The subject is very clear.

Witaj Gerard,
Your picture be delighted. First sees Ardea purpurea once. it is splendid. Rich picture in details. My splendid colours and sharpness. I thank for description of lens.
Pozdrawim i gratuluje - Roma

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