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on Feb 9, 2011 in Wildlife Photography, Yellowstone Life

YA Wk1 D2-3

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Our third stop was with the incredibly cooperative Bald Eagle. I’ve never spent so much time with a Yellowstone Bald Eagle as this one which stayed on this one perch for two and a half hours! We spent an hour with him, leaving once the light was too much for my taste. I wish we’d been on him much earlier because the hoar frost on the tree where he was perched was to die for! That’s what really made the shot which disappeared as time went on and the day warmed up to zero degrees. But let’s look at the major problem with this shoot. Can you tell what it is?

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If you said background, you hit the nail on the head! The top shot is the very first vantage we had of the eagle. Since they normally don’t stick around, we made our “record” shot. I went vertical to grab a little something in the lower right corner to attempt to overcome the horrible scuz clouds in the background. I could only take this so long and once I figured out this guy wasn’t go nowhere, I moved!

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I like the middle image background the most but that’s probably because the light was still OK. If you compare the top and middle image, you can see where that gray scuz really does suck for a background. The bottom image, I like the background because it says winter but by the time I got to this location, the light had become hard. The physically distance I walked from the top frame to the bottom was about 60yards. This is in part because of the major change I wanted in the background. It is also because of the trees on our side of the Firehole River we had to shoot through. The eagle was on the other side of the river and that along with the warmth of the sun is probably why it stayed around so long. By the time we left him, it was coming up on 13:00 and we’d only traveled a few miles since the beginning of the day. Excuse me now, I’m really excited to look at the rest of the day’s images.

Photos captured by D3x, 600VR w/TC-20e on Lexar UDMA digital film