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Beautiful Great Blue Herons Simply Unretouched

What a moment of joy when a photograph downloads from the camera exactly as hoped.

Babsje

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great blue heron diving beneath the surface.

What photographer hasn’t experienced that moment of joy and surprise when a photo comes out exactly as hoped for, no digital magic needed or wanted. The photo is complete as-is, in and of itself. It was an exciting surprise to see the golden-hour sun backlighting water bubbles splashing high above the Great Blue Heron as she dove beneath the surface. Experiences like that are perfect fodder for Cee’s Hunt for Joy challenges.

Readers of this blog know I’m both fine art photographer and nature photographer, but I’m also a photojournalist, a stringer for a national newspaper syndicate. The rules are vastly different for fine art and photojournalism. In journalism, no editing is permitted, not even a single pixel can be adjusted, and often times even cropping is not allowed. For fine art, sometimes it seems the opposite is expected – what makes it ‘Art’ is the artist-photographer’s manipulation of the image.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great blue heron preening Columbus Day weekend.

The three photos shown here today have not been edited, each came out of the camera as shown. Chronologically, the middle photo of the Great Blue Heron preening was captured first; followed by the top photo of the same Heron ducking beneath the surface in hopes of landing a fish, followed by the third shot of the exultant Heron making off with a huge Pike. If that sequence isn’t the embodiment of Cee’s Hunt for Joy concept, I don’t know what is.

Great blue heron lands a large fish.

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Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for their new April Discover Prompts series. Like many others, I have been missing the WordPress challenges. Today, the topic is Discover Prompts: Light . The backlit bubbles were not retouched. The photo came right out of the camera like that..

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This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner, all of whom encourage and inspire.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on Simplicity. The three Heron photos embody simplicity – no editing, straight from the camera. The simplest of work-flows. WYSIWYG

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 91: Simplicity .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 91: Simplicity .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 91: Simplicity .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 91: Simplicity .

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
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From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.
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During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2020 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick
Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Heron En Plein Air Painting at the Charles River

She wasn’t out for blood; she was out for solitude. Any morning when a heron wins its skirmish and achieves solitude is a good morning for a heron. And solitude is what I crave in the mornings, too.

Breakfast at the Lake,
Babsje

© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 1 – babsjeheron

Wildlife is shy and fast and elusive and unpredictable – Great Blue Herons especially so. They usually erupt into flight at the first sensing of an approaching human.

I am shy by nature and photography is a solitary endeavor for me. I don’t join outings by birders, I don’t do camera club trips, and I don’t go on Audubon excursions, as wonderful as they all may be. I don’t even take friends canoeing or kayaking any more. (I did that twice and both times they talked too much and too loudly and scared off the Herons.) I steer clear of other boats on the water to keep a good distance away because, after all, even the fishermen need and deserve their space.

So, imagine my dismay upon arriving at the Charles River dam that morning to see a big splash of color looming over the ancient grinding wheel across from the fish ladder. There would be no Great Blue Herons that day.

Taking in the entire scene, though, dismay quickly turned to joy.

What came into view was first one, then two, then three, then four artists set up in 19th century vignettes with easels under brightly-colored umbrellas. They were spaced a good distance from each other, all with a differing vantage point of the river and dam and old stone bridge where the Herons fish.

One of the painters in particular called to mind a scene from the mid-1800s as she gazed out over the lush water lilies floating above the dam, paints at the ready, paintbrush in hand.

The bridge in this photo below was constructed in the mid-19th century, around the same time that the cyanotype process came into vogue. There is a palpable timelessness to this location and the artists and easels enhanced that feeling. I can easily imagine a 19th century painter or photographer capturing an ancestor of one of the Great Blue Herons that frequent the area today.

© 2016 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron – Charles River Blues Nbr 2 – In the Cyanotype Style – babsjeheron

I chose this 19th century style cyanoprint series “Charles River Blues” for one of my exhibits at TCAN because the Summer Street Gallery, itself, is from that same 19th century period.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Charles River Blues Great Blue Herons at TCAN May thru July 10 2018 – babsjeheron

© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

The fish ladder with artist, above. I would have loved to see what her painting looked like.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron and Fish Ladder- babsjeheron

There are many schools of painting. Some artists paint on location, en plein air, some in a studio. Some paint stunningly realistic scenes and some fantastic figments of their own imagining. Some artists take a snapshot out in the world and then paint from the photo instead of from life.

Is it cheating to paint a landscape from a photograph of a scene?

What do you think?
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Rosemary Morelli teaches painting including en plain air style at her studio in eastern Massachusetts. The artists painting at the dam that day were a few of her students.

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This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner, all of whom encourage and inspire.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on Distance.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 90: Distance .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 90: Distance .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 90: Distance .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 90: Distance .

Last week, the Lens Artists focused on A River Runs Through It. I hope they forgive me for a second submission.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through the City.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: River .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through It .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through It .

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
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From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.
.

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During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2020 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick
Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Heron in the Charles River

The Charles River is a land of contrasts.

Babsje

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great blue heron poised in the Charles River.

Sometimes a person can love a book, but not the movie treatment. Sometimes it’s the opposite – you really enjoy a film and then read the book, and the book falls flat.

I enjoyed Bill Bryson’s book about the Appalachian Trail, “A Walk in the Woods’ more than the movie. I KonMari’d my bookshelves a couple of years ago and kept all of Bill Bryson’s books. (Even though I have a Kindle PaperWhite e-reader.)

This week’s Lens Artist prompt is “A River Runs Through It.” I first read the novel, actually three short stories by Norman Maclean, many years ago. When I KonMari’d my bookshelves, “A River Runs Through It” is another one I kept.
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The Great Blue Heron shown at the top of this post stands in a small cove just around the corner from this next tableau staged on a point jutting into the Charles River.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Charles River tableau as seen from a kayak.

The property teems with whimsical statuary, including an alligator crouching on the shore, an iguana perched on an overhanging branch, a black bear rearing up on hind legs (with cub underfoot), a family of three white-tailed deer, a giant Galapagos tortoise, and more.

And no, the Great Blue Heron isn’t one of the life-like statues – but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day a Heron statue was added to the menagerie.

Alligator on the shore of the Charles River.

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Coming back around to books vs films, I’ve never seen the movie of “A River Runs Through It.”with that famous actor, though. Should I?
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This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner, all of whom encourage and inspire.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on Rivers.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through the City.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: River .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through It .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through It .

Thanks to Cee for her Pick a Topic: Landscape.

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From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.
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During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2020 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Newton
Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Herons – Closing Days TCAN – Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 14

Out of their loneliness for each other
two reeds, or maybe two shadows, lurch
forward and become suddenly a life
lifted from dawn or the rain…

William Stafford,
Oregon Poet Laureate
For Great Blue Heron Week, 1987
Spirit of Place: The Great Blue Heron (excerpt)
The Way it Is: New and Selected Poems

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Charles River Blues Great Blue Herons at TCAN May 1 thru July 11 2018 – babsjeheron

The bridge in this photo panel was constructed in the mid 19th century, around the same time that the cyanotype process came into vogue. There is a palpable timelessness to this location, and I imagined how it would have been rendered by a 19th century photographer, perhaps capturing an ancestor of one of the Great Blue Herons that frequent the area today.

I chose this 19th century style cyanoprint series for the exhibit at TCAN because the Summer Street Gallery, itself, is from that same 19th century period.

Today and tomorrow are the closing days of my free one-woman Great Blue Heron photography show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Since 2001, the Center for Arts Natick has been housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, where the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.

141 years after the Firehouse was first constructed in 1875, TCAN installed an intimate new venue on the second floor of the historic firehouse for concerts, movies, and events, with new professional gallery space for the visual arts. 543 backers pledged $103,420 in a Kickstater campaign that helped bring this project to life.

If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the Great Blue Herons. Many of the photos in the exhibit are being shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.

The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.

Thanks to Paula for her Thursday’s Special: Iconic. I think there is often a very fine line between iconic and cliched. Some of the Heron photographs are iconic, without being cliched.

Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Herons at TCAN Thru July 10 – Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 13

Life spreads itself across
the ceiling to make you think
you are penned in, but that
is just another gift. Life takes
what you thought you couldn’t live
without and gives you a heron instead.

On the Meaning of (excerpt)
Linda Back McKay

The Next Best Thing: Poems

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Preening – babsjeheron

From May 1 through July 10, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again grace the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Since 2001, the Center for Arts Natick has been housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, where the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.

141 years after the Firehouse was first constructed in 1875, TCAN installed an intimate new venue on the second floor of the historic firehouse for concerts, movies, and events, with new professional gallery space for the visual arts. 543 backers pledged $103,420 in a Kickstater campaign that helped bring this project to life.

If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the Great Blue Herons. Many of the photos in the exhibit are being shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.

The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.
.
.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.

Thanks to Paula for her Thursday’s Special: Iconic. I think there is often a very fine line between iconic and cliched. Some of the Heron photographs are iconic, without being cliched.

Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Great Blue Heron and the Salmon of Doubt (Apologies to Douglas Adams)

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Catching Large Fish – babsjeheron

There is no problem so complicated that you can’t find a very simple answer to it if you look at it right.
Douglas Adams
The Salmon of Doubt

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For more than an hour, she stalked the Salmon, climbing the fish ladder slowly, intently scanning the pooled water at the base of the dam, then pausing to rest, perched there on one leg. All the while, she faced away from the torrent gushing down the ladder behind her.

I could see fish in the rushing waters and wondered if the Heron would shift her focus.

True to that Douglas Adams thought, she finally looked at the fish ladder right, and left no doubt at all about that Salmon.
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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Tour Guide. Krista had asked us recently what we love about where we live. Today’s photo was taken a short walk from my home. In fact, all of the photos on my blog were taken within 5 miles from home. I love that the beautiful Great Blue Herons spend part of their lives each year within the Charles River and Sudbury River watersheds. I’m very fortunate that my studies of them don’t require expensive travel to distant locations.

And more thanks to Krista S and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Weathered. Do you notice how weathered the Heron’s toes are?

Thanks to Paula for her occasional Black and White Sunday challenge. Paula, your captive gibbon is exquisitely enigmatic, moving.

Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent: Fish.

Thanks to Cee for her recent Black and White Photo Challenge: Water. Once again, I am very tardy, Cee.

Thanks to CosmicGirlie for hosting Silent Sunday. I do really like CosmicGirlie’s ethos about the way that words can affect the meaning of photos and her goal of no words, just a single photo. Yes, there are “words” in today’s post, which is against the “rules,” but I can’t credit the authors of the fine prompts mentioned above without using words.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

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