You can practice your photographic skills by shooting a moving subject such as a Great Blue Heron



This page has information on shooting a Great Blue Heron or just about any moving object with ever changing backgrounds. If you practice this kind of shooting you will be able to capture nearly anything when you are in a situation that requires quick thinking and setting changes.

A bird in flight is one of the hardest things to shoot. One second the background can be dark, the next it can be as bright as the sun; literally. You have to set your camera at the slowest film speed possible while still getting results that are not blurred.

In order to do that you’ll want to shoot in bright daylight. Generally an ISO of about 600 or 800 works well on a Heron. You can capture crisp photos that look sharp when you enlarge them to 8X10 or even larger.

When shooting a moving object, you’ll want to shoot in manual mode. In manual mode your camera will expose the same for each picture you take regardless of the lighting changes of the background. This is the only way you can be sure your subject is exposed consistently and correctly.

Preset your camera settings before you actually shoot the bird. Do this by zooming in on your subject and see what the camera shows as the correct settings. Switch to manual mode and set your camera to those settings.

Then shoot one or two pictures of your subject and verify you have the right settings by looking at the pictures in your LCD screen. For a more in depth explanation on setting up and using manual mode go here.

Remember; when your subject moves back and forth between the sunlight and the shade you must change your manual mode settings accordingly. This takes a knowledge and quick hands. And that is the purpose of this page. Practice shooting in manual mode and you will become quite the accomplished photographer.

Refresh your skills on finding the right settings by reading this.

Here’s a couple of examples.

Generally your subject should be properly exposed. There are times you want your subject silhouetted. At those times concern for the correct background exposure is secondary.

Against a very bright background, I wanted this volleyball player to be almost totally silhouetted.

On the other hand I wanted this Heron properly exposed.

I wanted this Heron silhouetted.

I like the look.

"Practicing" is 4 pages.

Continue here.