Winter is not a great time for bird photographers in New Zealand but this season does offer some opportunities that are unique. At river estuaries you find a different range of birds from what is seen in summer. It is also the time of the year when we are busy in the accounting office. At the weekend I braved the cold and checked out the Manawatu River Estuary and happened upon a white heron, right close to the sunset walkway. It gave me the chance to test my skills with a white bird, against a dark background. I often use centre-point focus, with centre-point metering and if the bird is in the centre of the picture a good photo is achieved. Otherwise it is best to stop down the camera a couple of stops to get the bird right even though the surroundings may be under-exposed. If you blow-out the white areas they are unrecoverable, but dark surrounds can be lightened in Photoshop. I was pleased with the photo below, where you see the heron with its neck fully extended, doing so to get a peep at me hiding behind a bush.