Snowy Egret In Flight With A Bokeh I Adore

Here’s another photo where I like the background as much as the bird and in large part that’s due to the quality of the bokeh.


1/5000, f/6.3, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

I photographed this Snowy Egret two weeks ago at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge as it came in to land next to a small bridge to my left. In nearly all photos taken from here the background would be sky, water or the Promontory Mountains in the distance but if the bird’s in just the right place when I fire my shutter I can get a small island of multi-colored phragmites behind the bird. In the very few shots where I’ve been able to accomplish that I’ve loved the background so I always watch for a bird flying there. When it does happen something nearly always goes wrong but this time things worked out and largely because of the quality of the bokeh in the background I adore the results.

Bokeh is defined as “the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field. Good quality bokeh is smooth and pleasing whereas bad bokeh produces a jagged and discordant effect“.  Bokeh quality is determined by the construction of the lens and my Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens has a reputation for producing some of the very highest quality bokeh of any lens on the market.

Yes, I also like the sharpness of the bird, the curvature of the wings, the interesting effects of light on the subject, the contrast of a white bird against a darker background and the way those “golden slippers’ stand out even in partial shade.

But for me it’s the background and bokeh that set the image apart.




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