For me, this shot is about light, color, and detail. The brilliant golden eye of the heron is lit by the sun, which is low on the horizon. The eye stands out against the deeper blue tones of the bird. The directional light also highlights the details in the birds features and feathers. The incredible sharpness of the image, the beautiful lighting, and the complimentary colors make it one of my favorites.
This was an easy capture. I took a single shot and then checked my histogram to make sure I wasn’t losing any details. A few more shots and I had the image I wanted. No special processing or fancy tricks required. The light was right and the lens was sharp. Of course, a beautiful subject helps a lot! ;)
If you want some tips for photographing birds, check out this blog post from last week!