Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The other day I got some pics of an eagle.  This is the story.

I headed out to photograph wild horses.  (I don't know how they decided they were wild.  They have a few thousand acres to roam in, but they are penned.  And, they feed them)  I had a 70-200 mm lens on the camera.  As I headed down the dirt road I saw a juvenile eagle sitting on a fence post.   I was afraid to stop because I was close to him and feared I would cause him to fly.  I also had the wrong lens on the camera.  So I drove past him about a quarter mile, changed lenses to a 400mm lens and turned around.   This is the first pic I took.

I saw 2 problems.  First I was too far away.   Second the sun was back lighting him, and as a result there was little detail.  To solve my problems I had a dilemma.  I would need to drive past him for a second time, and it may cause him to fly.   After watching for a time I decided he had something cornered, and he was more interested in it than me.  I drove past him and about a quarter of a mile up the road and again turned around.   I pulled off the side of the road, and this is the first pic from my new location.

I had moved in closer and now the sun helped.  There was detail in the feathers and an eye was visible.   I wanted to get closer, but did not want him to fly.  Another car drove by and stopped about 20 feet from him for about 30 seconds and moved on.  The eagle did not flinch.  I moved in closer.  This is the first shot from my new location.

He did not appear to be concerned.   So I started shooting in earnest.  I changed my camera setting.  I wanted to shoot without the predictive focus on because sometimes with a stationary subject it is just a tad off.  I got one shot off with it turned off before he flew.  This is it.  

He landed on the ground just below the fence post.  I got several pics of the grass.

If you look really close you still cannot see the eagle.  I waited and waited and waited suddenly he flew.  I got several pics like this. 

I figured it was over, but no he landed on a post right across the road.  I have had birds fly closer to me, but never a bird of prey.  Here is the first pic from the location of the eagle's choosing. 

I took several in this location before he flew again.  Again when he took off I was not prepared, and missed him.

This is maybe the best shot of him

I didn't get any pics of horses that day.  They did not cooperate like the eagle.