Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Started Jan 25, 2014 | Discussions
William Curtindale
William Curtindale Veteran Member • Posts: 7,500
Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa
7

Hers are some shots from my Eagle trip to the Davenport, Iowa area, Lock #13, Lock #14 and Lock #15 (specific locations of locks can be identified on the following link): http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/MississippiRiverProject/Education/EagleWatching/EagleCounts.aspx

So far this has been an exciting trip (all I expected and more).  I will definitely return to this location again to photograph Eagles.  I arrived yesterday around 2:00pm and took photos for 2 1/2 hours (543 photos).  Now I have lots of selecting and post processing work ahead of me.  Although, I will be out all day today and tomorrow taking more photos.

Below are a few images from Lock #14 (taken with A99, 70-400mm G, handheld, RAW, PP in PS CS6):

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JerryCurtis Veteran Member • Posts: 9,017
Love that first shot...

Great wing form and position and nice, sharp shot.

Why not use f/5.6 and lower your ISO. though? The 70-400G is tack sharp at 5.6 and 400mm. All these eagle shots were taken at 400mm and f/5.6 on my older A350:

http://www.pbase.com/icicle50/eaglewatch

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William Curtindale
OP William Curtindale Veteran Member • Posts: 7,500
JerryCurtis: Love that first shot...

JerryCurtis wrote:

Great wing form and position and nice, sharp shot.

Why not use f/5.6 and lower your ISO. though? The 70-400G is tack sharp at 5.6 and 400mm.

Thanks for viewing, comments and suggestion.

Jerry, I was so excited yesterday it was all I could do to get any image.

Today and tomorrow I will work with other settings and see whit I get.  Thanks for the suggestion.

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JerryCurtis Veteran Member • Posts: 9,017
Yeah...

The adrenalin can run pretty high in the presence of these majestic birds, huh? I, too, spent three freezing days in a field shooting the ones in the gallery I linked to. Never regretted it for a minute, though.

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Alan_S
Alan_S Senior Member • Posts: 1,821
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Great shots, Bill -- #1 is really special! Looks like you're gonna have a fantastic couple more days. Your post is really motivating too, as I am in south central Nebraska, about a 2 to 3 hour drive to a couple of different dams where bald eagles congregate this time of year... seeing your shots really makes me want to get off my butt and get out there (and maybe I'll just do it with the nice weather today). Thanks for posting, and enjoy!!

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- AlanS

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William Curtindale
OP William Curtindale Veteran Member • Posts: 7,500
JerryCurtis: Yeah...

JerryCurtis wrote:

The adrenalin can run pretty high in the presence of these majestic birds, huh? I, too, spent three freezing days in a field shooting the ones in the gallery I linked to. Never regretted it for a minute, though.

Yes, but I am dressed for a polar trip with Robert Peary to the north Pole (very comfortable).

Today, I will be more thoughtful about what I am doing (hopefully creative along with higher quality).

While on the road I am trying to download my images and pp a few to upload on the fly.

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William Curtindale
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Alan_S: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Alan_S wrote:

Great shots, Bill -- #1 is really special! Looks like you're gonna have a fantastic couple more days. Your post is really motivating too, as I am in south central Nebraska, about a 2 to 3 hour drive to a couple of different dams where bald eagles congregate this time of year... seeing your shots really makes me want to get off my butt and get out there (and maybe I'll just do it with the nice weather today). Thanks for posting, and enjoy!!

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- AlanS

Alan, I hope you make it out today.  Yeah, it's supposed snow here but be much warmer today.

Hope to see some post of Eagles from you.

Thanks for viewing and comments.

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busch
busch Forum Pro • Posts: 32,426
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Very excellent series of those majestic birds! I'm envious!

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William Curtindale
OP William Curtindale Veteran Member • Posts: 7,500
busch: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

busch wrote:

Very excellent series of those majestic birds! I'm envious!

Thanks for viewing and comments.

It's amazing that I got to do this because I have been ill with a cold and bad sinus infection.  Last week I went to the doctor and got put on an antibiotic  but it was slower than I hoped for improving.  Two days before our trip (three guys), my wife said "No Way, You're Not Going!".  Finally on Thursday my wife gave me a sign-off for travel (she's sweet).  We have talked about doing this for the past three years, so here we are.

Next Sunday, we leave for a week in Florida to do BIF.

Gosh, tons of post processing.

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AarSee
AarSee Veteran Member • Posts: 4,660
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

William Curtindale wrote:

Hers are some shots from my Eagle trip to the Davenport, Iowa area, Lock #13, Lock #14 and Lock #15 (specific locations of locks can be identified on the following link): http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/MississippiRiverProject/Education/EagleWatching/EagleCounts.aspx


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Fantastic work!

The old saying, "F8 and be there", certainly works for this one!

I am missing the trip, as I had to work.

But next year I will be going, if you plan on attending again.  I will even drive.

Keep warm & keep shooting!

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Rick

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eawhitcomb
eawhitcomb Contributing Member • Posts: 560
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Great shots!  I was supposed to be there last Saturday, but it was just too snowy.  But I really want to get out and test out my 70-400GII which has seen basically no action since I got it!  I might have to think about heading there on February 8th, depending on weather.

Thanks for posting!

Elizabeth

Canadian Club
Canadian Club Forum Pro • Posts: 41,938
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Amazing Bill.  That first one is awesome.  Glad you were able to get there.

Keep them coming.

CC

Ed at Ridersite Forum Pro • Posts: 18,156
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Nice shots Bill - especially #1!  Looks like you could have had better conditions, but you have to take what you are given shooting wildlife.

Regarding shooting at f5.6 vs. f8, I'd say it's a toss up.  As long as you have enough DOF, f5.6 is OK, but given you're using the A-99, ISO-400 is probably not much different from ISO-200 and you certainly had enough shutter speed at 1/1600.  In the field, my standard aperture is f6.3 with the 70-400mm G2 - just going for a little more DOF.

Enjoy your trip and stay warm

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KVanhoogen
KVanhoogen Senior Member • Posts: 1,351
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Beautiful!!  Nice and sunny this morning -- get to 13 first.

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Kim VH

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KVanhoogen
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Can you pick me up, I'm right on the way ;-)
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Sam_Oslo
Sam_Oslo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,022
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Nice shots  on rare subjects Sounds like you found a fun trip.

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OldClicker Senior Member • Posts: 2,322
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Excellent captures. I was at Lock/Dam 13 and 14 on Thursday for the first time (live near Chicago). It was 0 deg F and windy, but I was so excited that I wore fingerless gloves all day and had to keep unzipping my many layers of coats. We started at 13 where they were just swarming like bees - unbelievable. There was also about 200 white heads in the trees across on the Iowa side. Not the best place for images of them fishing though. At 14, it's better for shooting, but the water was open all the way across. I'm going back - maybe even staying a couple of nights - after some more cold weather and the river freezes more. There is also suppose to be some good shooting down along Concord St.

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TheVoid Senior Member • Posts: 1,638
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Congratulations on the great shooting opportunity! Enjoy the rest of the trip - sounds like a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing more great results. I can certainly relate to the adrenaline bit - bald eagles visit my hometown every winter and it's taken me a few years of trips out to the wetlands to figure out that I need to get my camera set up first because I know I will forget something important once the action is in motion.

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Jeremy

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busch
busch Forum Pro • Posts: 32,426
Re: busch: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

You need some good, old fashioned German schnapps. If nothing else, it will make you feel so good you won't realize you're sick!

Have fun and looking forward to lots more great shots!

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EvilOne
EvilOne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,331
Re: Eagles (day 1 of 3), A99 W/70-400mm G, Iowa

Wonderful shots Bill, Thanks for posting... wish I could get out shooting again. If I cant be there, its nice to see shots like this and what is possible.

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