I’m feeling a little overwhelmed around here, which in this case turns out to be a good, not a bad thing. I’ve been feeling that way for a awhile now, particularly when it comes to writing about the literature I’ve recently finished reading. I finished reading Joyce’s Ulysses and Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man and Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain and wanted to reflect on some ties I found in them, but was unable to find time to develop those ideas with all the other things that were going in my life. I finally set Joyce’s books out to be recycled but still feel I want to say something about them before discarding them.
Even more recently I spent five days shooting photographs, and with a modern digital camera that can create far too many pictures. I shot over a 1,000 shots the two days I spent at Seabeck. Worst of all, I liked far too many of the shots I took. Even after spend several days editing I’ve still got over 200 shots left to choose from. Too many of them seem too good to just casually discard. Sometimes I’ve spent over an hour merely deciding which shot of a sequence to keep.
Surprisingly, some of the hardest decisions have come from my shots of Great Blue Herons. If someone had told me that I could get excellent shots of Great Blue Herons I doubt I would have even gone since I have hard drives full of herons. Turns out, though, that I actually have more shots of herons than I do of eagles from the two days of shooting.
I haven’t taken the time go back and compare the new shots with my old shots, but I have the feeling these are some of the best Great Blue Heron shots I’ve ever taken, not something I will casually discard. I’m not sure if these are really the best of the shots I have, but I like these a lot.
I love the background in this shot; the reflections make the shot for me.
I had nearly twenty shots of herons flying by right in front of me at eye level, so close that I could make out each feather, and though I never really decided which I liked best, this is one of my favorites.
What flies has to land, and I have an equal number of shots of herons landing.
And, of course, since the herons were there to fish, I have even more shots of them catching fish.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I left almost immediately after my trip to Seabeck for Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for another three days of shooting, ending up with another 1,000+ shots to edit.
I might have managed to dig myself out of this hole if the weather hadn’t turned so nice. After a long, wet winter I’m a sucker for sunny days, I find it impossible to sit inside looking at a computer screen when I could be bathing in sunshine.
Whenever I work on these photographs I’m living in the past, so it really doesn’t seem to me to make a huge difference whether they’re posted today or next week.