Presence of Mind – Again.

Last month I wrote about some very bad photos I took because I didn’t have the presence of mind to adjust the length of my 100x400mm lens.  I nearly ended up with a second post that would lament the same mistake.  Nearly.


Above is not a photo of a hazy blue evening sky, but a picture of a Bald Eagle.  I had parked myself in a cattail marsh on the edge of a lake.  The Eagle’s nest is behind me on my left, and the sun is setting over to my right.  If the Eagle flies off its nest, I should have good light and be able to get a decent shot.

I sat there for over an hour and waited.  And waited.  And then began taking pictures of some dragonflies that seemed to be everywhere.  That meant setting my camera up a little differently to take photos close in.  Less than five feet.  While I played with the dragonflies the above Bald Eagle flew out from the trees.  Cursing my stupidity the best shot I got wasn’t until the bird had flown half way across the lake.

I reset the camera, adjusted the f-stop, reset the way it focuses and then I remembered the post I wrote last month.  I took hold of the lens and pulled it back to 300mm and waited.  The mistake I had made last month involved taking shots of large birds who were very close with the lens set at 400mm.  I ended up chopping off their wings, tails and heads.  In the pictures that is.

With my camera reset I waited, silently hoping the Eagle would return and I would get another chance.


About fifteen minutes later it flew out from the tree-line again. 

3 Responses to “Presence of Mind – Again.”

  1. June 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Another amazing shot of an eagle! Fantastic. Your patience paid off!

  2. 2 Randy Roberts
    June 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Thank you. I still have much to learn about getting photos of them in flight.

  3. June 10, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Yes, photographing birds in flight is not an easy thing to do, it takes tons of practice… The birds that I mostly shoot (with my camera, of course) are in a raptor center, so I can watch them as often as I like during the flight displays, and practise, practise practise! It’s so much fun. That said, nothing beats seeing raptors in the wild… it’s just so special.

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