I have recently returned from a wonderful, relaxing, vacation on Anna Maria Island, Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico. It was nice to take a break from "regular" life. However, I could not be in such a beautiful spot without taking a few photographs. I focused most of my attention on sunrise photos at Anna Maria's City Pier.
I woke up early on three different mornings to experience the sunrise at the Pier. There is a period of time shortly before sunrise and shortly after sunset, referred to as the "Blue Hour." At these times the quality of light is often magical for photography as a blue tone is cast across the landscape.
The last morning was quite unique. The photo above was taken then and shortly thereafter, I was treated to a special encounter with a Blue Heron. As I was sitting on the bench along the Pier's boardwalk, looking for other possible photographs to take; a Blue Heron landed on the edge of the Pier about 15 feet away from me.
My camera was already set up for a 20 second exposure with a wide angle lens, so, I seized the moment and calmly approached this welcomed visitor. I decided to frame up the photo below as I squatted down on the boardwalk with my tripod set up about 8 feet away from the heron. I counted the 20 seconds in my head hoping that he would stay still as the shot was being taken. If he moved at all, he would just be a blur in the frame. He was kind enough to oblige and then quietly flew away a few seconds later. I will always treasure this photo for the unlikely, special moment that this heron gave me.