November Photographer of the Month

Tom and I celebrate the great images being created by our community of photographers each month by selecting a Photo of the Month. For November we selected Dianne Biddison’s image of a reddish Egret from our Bird Photography Class. We hope you enjoy Dianne’s images as much as we do

Congratulations to November’s photographer – Dianne Biddison

Dianne in the lavender fields of Provence, France

The Data: ISO 1250 500mm 1/1250 f f13

The Gear: Canon EOS 6D with a 150-500mm lens

The Story … 

I signed up for Tom and Cree’s online Bird Photography class, and knowing there would be assignments, I planned to take a Friday off work to go to Fort DeSoto State Park. I had been there before with a local photography group. The park has a website with a list of birds that have been seen there by season and where to find them. I also used eBird hotspots to see what birds had been seen recently.

The Reddish Egret was very interesting. There was a photographer walking 30 ft ahead of me photographing the egret. I slowed down so I wouldn’t spook the bird. When the photographer left, the Reddish Egret almost seemed disappointed that his audience was gone. I moved in closer and started taking photos of the bird and his behaviour.

The November 2020 Photo of the Month

The sun came out from the clouds just at that moment to light him up the right way. I chose to go to the North beach because I anticipated that the sun would come from the east and look best.

I used my new tripod with a new Neewer gimbal head. It was the first time I had used either. This made it very easy to move the camera. I could manipulate my movement easier as the bird changed his position.

I found that shooting 3 ft off the ground was ideal. Because the beach was uneven, I did not want to get too low.

After photographing the egret, I turned a corner and found a sandbar with 100 American White Pelicans. While other photographers were waiting for them to fly and hopefully come in closer, I started looking around. I found a pair of American Oystercatchers and photographed them.

On my way back to the car the Whimbrel appeared. The birds at the park are used to people and don’t get scared. I lowered the tripod more and it started walking towards me.

I was able to get both a profile and a straight on shot. I like them both. The straight on shot helped me identify the bird because I could see the darker eye band.


Dianne’s Whimbrel on the beach at Fort De Soto State Park


About Photographing Birds:

It’s fun! Being down here in Florida, I can usually find a bird. I like watching what they are going to do and how they interact with each other.

Bird photography is a challenge, especially getting them in flight. But it is a fun challenge!


American Oystercatcher

Tip from the Photographer

Keep looking around you when photographing birds. You never know what is watching you.

When everyone else was watching the pelicans, the oystercatchers were creeping up behind them.

Get as many shots as possible from different angles. Even if the image is blurry, it may help you identify the bird.

Dianne roaming the beaches of Tasmania with her Canon in hand

On Dianne’s Horizon

The Winter Yellowstone Workshop in January

Going back to Fort De Soto. This time I plan to go in the evening. I want to photograph Roseate Spoonbills in warm evening light.

I have plans to put in a backyard bird habitat, after I cut back some Elephant Ear Philodendrons from my pond and waterfall. This will clear the way for birds to take a bath. We have Red-Shouldered Hawks, Cardinals, blue jays and finches regularly in this area. It will be exciting to see what other birds are around here, too.


Our next online Bird Photography class starts this Monday. Learn more about our upcoming classes, including Power Workflow, Advanced Landscape and PhotoShop 1 Click Here

You are also invited to join us for an online Happy Hour on Friday Dec 4 at 7 pm SMT to see a virtual gallery of images from our latest classes. Leave a comment below to receive an invite.

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