Friday, March 27, 2015


This young bald eagle was photographed on Douglas Lake, East Tennessee a few days ago while I roved on the lake in a boat.  He was back inside the protective branches of a tree on the shoreline yet stood out silhouetted against the pale sky. 

 It's not often I can get high quality photos of bald eagles from the boat because I'm always low under them and have to shoot up at them directly toward the sky which results in a horrible over exposure situation.  It is a challenge in photography that is very difficult to overcome.  If the bird could fly below me or across from me, the background would more than likely be rocks, trees, mountain or water and the harsh back light would not be an issue.
 He quickly left his perch on the tree limb and flew through the thick limbs without touching even one.
 I quickly made camera adjustments while pressing the shutter button.  White balance, focal and even metering adjustments were all instantly altered while the process of shooting was underway.  And, this is the best I could do.  Oh well-------
 I will not shoot on automatic under any circumstance as I like to say that "I" took the picture.  There's something about the creativity aspect of the whole operation that is lost when the camera is on automatic.  Its no big deal I guess but its just a quirk I have.  Maybe that's why I have so much trouble with back light.  Maybe auto is the way I should do it.  I think not though.
 Another aspect of photography is the issue of how many frames per second the camera will do.  I could care less.  Fast cameras (frames per second) would be interesting to capture the wing beats of an eagle as separate images on multiple photos but, I don't care about that.  I'd rather have three or four great shots that I set up and pressed the shutter button on than 20 average to good shots that were taken by pressing and holding the shutter button down and letting the camera arbitrarily grab frames.
 I am still amazed at how these huge birds can flap those enormous wings and lift through that tight canopy without touching a stick.
 The shot below is a power thrust.  His wings are brought down and pushed to the rear ultra fast with maximum power to thrust him forward.  Note that his tail feathers are angled down combined with the wings in the downward position.  He has just produced maximum power with his wings to push him forward and the wind is contacting the lowered tail feathers which pushes the front of the big bird down causing him to go straight instead of curving upward.
 And finally the open sky

 A red tail hawk comes into view and temps my camera lens.  What the heck!