Okay, I stalked her. Poked my 300mm lens through the leaves to her secret spot across the lagoon. She preened and primped... Maybe unaware of me... Maybe figuring the water was wide enough to keep a lurking human an easy take-off away.
They call ponds and lakes, lagoons in Sea Pines Plantation on Hilton Head island where South Carolina - almost Georgia - summer wetted down the air. If you're outdoors, southern seacoast's grow humidity thicker than the syrup folks pour over breakfast grits. And the heat keeps the air hotter than the bikinis make their beaches.
It's where lots of gin mixes with even more tonic as afternoons commit muscles to low gear. It's when the smarter birds find secret spot to digest their morning breakfasts and recharge for a twilight wade back into the lagoons, oh... and into wherever people were stupid enough to stock coy ponds.
And so, realizing the story wasn't about swans I figured I'd find me an egret at work in the marshes to work into a painting that captured an impression of both the bird, its hunting, and the POP! of southern American summer color.
A day or so after I invaded the privacy of that beauty up above... I found this guy working his way slow as suitor on a first date toward his prize. And once again my Canon 7D's EFS 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens did its job. Which is a capture that I couldn't have made years ago without a tripod. But the combination of image stabilizers and the camera's processors let me grab tight hold of the moment. Which, thanks to a lot of PhotoShop processing combined with the melding of a number of layers of AlienSkin's SnapArt filtering and texturing, I was able to make my concept visual.