A neat trick transforms a normal-size bird into Godzilla.
Ah, the power of perspective. Though this black-crowned night-heron appears to tower, Godzilla-like, over the bridge in the image above, it’s actually standing ashore in the foreground. Charles “Chuck” Seamens snapped the photo while walking by a bait shop under the John Ringling Bridge in Sarasota, Florida. It wasn’t until he looked at the shot that he noticed the camera trick. “The illusion that the bird is looking at the bridge and just sort of pondering traffic makes it almost like a policeman checking to make sure everyone’s traveling at the right speed and in the right lane,” he says. A finalist in this issue’s Audubon Magazine Photography Awards, Seamens, 76, is a semi-retired insurance broker who splits his time between Pennsylvania and Florida. “I have always been interested in getting unusual shots, purely as an amateur,” he says. Seamens doesn’t call himself a birder, but he does enjoy birds and stays open to all manner of inviting photographic subjects.
Photographer: Chuck Seamens
Species: Black-crowned night-heron
When: Late winter 2010
Where: John Ringling Bridge, Sarasota, Florida
Camera: Sony Cyber Shot Digital; 25mm wide-angle Sony lens G with 10x optical zoom