A wing and a prayer

I made my weekly visit to the Ridgefield NWR on Oct. 27, 2015.  It was a little foggy when I arrived there about 9 a.m. but it mostly cleared off by 10:30.  By 11:00, I was pretty happy with the wildlife activity so far but I had not yet seen a Bald Eagle, which is always on my wish list for a photo.  As I was driving through the Ash tree forest of the auto tour route I finally spotted a Bald Eagle on the top of a tree at quite a distance away.  In fact, it took binoculars to verify the ID.

I decided to drive another half mile, exit the woods, and park at a spot where I had a clear view of the eagle right out my driver’s side window.  The bird was now about 3 football fields away from me–even farther than when I first spotted it but I was at a spot where I knew the lighting was to my advantage IF the bird would just fly toward me.  That was the big IF–which way would it fly when it did decide to go?  After waiting there for 30 minutes the bird took off and low and behold, it did choose my direction, and on top of that, it chose to fly in front of my truck instead of flying behind me.  Call it luck or call it knowing where to be–or a combination of both.  The background isn’t anything to write home about but I got the shot I was hoping for.  I figure this is a 3-year old bird.

VIEW LARGE!

Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1600, f4, ISO 500, 500mm, 12 noon

I made my weekly visit to the Ridgefield NWR on Oct. 27, 2015.  It was a little foggy when I arrived there about 9 a.m. but it mostly cleared off by 10:30.  By 11:00, I was pretty happy with the wildlife activity so far but I had not yet seen a Bald Eagle, which is always on my wish list for a photo.  As I was driving through the Ash tree forest of the auto tour route I finally spotted a Bald Eagle on the top of a tree at quite a distance away.  In fact, it took binoculars to verify the ID.

I decided to drive another half mile, exit the woods, and park at a spot where I had a clear view of the eagle right out my driver’s side window.  The bird was now about 3 football fields away from me–even farther than when I first spotted it but I was at a spot where I knew the lighting was to my advantage IF the bird would just fly toward me.  That was the big IF–which way would it fly when it did decide to go?  After waiting there for 30 minutes the bird took off and low and behold, it did choose my direction, and on top of that, it chose to fly in front of my truck instead of flying behind me.  Call it luck or call it knowing where to be–or a combination of both.  The background isn’t anything to write home about but I got the shot I was hoping for.  I figure this is a 3-year old bird.

VIEW LARGE!

Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1600, f4, ISO 500, 500mm, 12 noon

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My Gear:

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV & Grip
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EF 500mm f4L IS II
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f4L
  • Canon EF 50mm f1.8
  • Canon 1.4X III Extender
  • Canon 2x III Extender
  • Canon 580EX Flash
  • Zoom H1 Recorder
  • Better Beamer
  • Manfrotto tripod/monopod
  • Manfrotto Gimbal Head
  • Sandisk Compact Flash Cards
  • The Molar Bean Bag by Vertex
  • Joby Gorillapod Focus & Ballhead
  • Canon EG200 Backpack
  • Storm Jacket Camera Cover
  • Kinesis Safari Sack
  • Original Bug Shirt Elite Edition

Software:

  • Adobe Photoshop CC
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic
  • Nik Color EFEX Pro 4
  • Nik Sharpener 3
  • Nik Dfine 2.0
  • Nik Viveza 2
  • Nik HDR Efex Pro 2
  • Nik Silver Efex Pro 2
  • Nik Analog Efex Pro