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Egret in Morro Bay

Wrapping up a few days on California's Central Coast. Grabbed both of the above shots of an egret in Morro Bay from a kayak using my Nikon D5100 and Nikon 70-300mm telephoto lens. 

A little bit of cropping on both photos -- the egret will only allow kayakers to get so close. Didn't quite position myself correctly in case the bird took flight; I was a little in back and needed to be more on the bird's front side. But I'll take it. 

The settings on the second shot: ISO 400, shutter 1/1600, f/8 and 200mm focal length. Shot in RAW, processed in Lightroom 4 with an assist from NIK software for sharpening. 

As for the top photo, I'm sure there are those on the Internet who would insist that I crop the photo tighter. I disagree. There's a gazillion-plus photos of egrets on the Internet already; at least this one has some context in terms of water and the really cool sand spit that separates the Pacific Ocean from Morro Bay. 

On that note, you simply have to kayak Morro Bay at some point. The town is stuffed with tourists, clam chowder joints and T-shirt shops. But Morro Bay and its estuary is awesome; paddle over to the sand spit, park the kayak and hike over the dunes to the ocean side. (That's the next post). 

FWIW, I always rent kayaks from Kayak Horizons in town. Good rates, good boats (I prefer the sit insides) and good location. 

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All photos above are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.