I’m sure you’re wondering how I got into photographing Bald Eagles? If I go back 5 years, I could have never imagined that I’d end up an Eagle photographer.
When COVID hit, my regular photography was no longer possible and I was looking for another genre to explore that I could do within the constraints of safe Social Distancing.
I thought that Bird Photography would be of interest to me. I didn’t have the appropriate long zoom lens which I acquired. So now that I had the necessary rig, it was time for me to go out and find some birds.
Initially, I was interested in pretty much anything that flew and took photos in my backyard, local parks and an occasional trip to a Wildlife Refuge Area.
Along, the way, I did encounter a few Bald Eagles and in time, was able to take a few half way decent images. I also learned, that a pair of eagles frequented a small pond near my house as well as a couple of other parks close to home.
I started to frequent these known Bald Eagle locations hoping for a sighting or a photo op. Most days I’d go home with no decent photos but still fascinated at having the opportunity to see them and hopefully snag a photo.
So what’s the fascination?
To me, the fascination of photographing Bald Eagles lays in the challenge. Photographing Bald Eagles is one of the most challenging subjects I’ve ever photographed. First you have to have the right camera & lens. Sorry, you’re just not going to get an epic photo of a bald eagle 100 yards away with your iPhone. Ain’t happening.
Once you’ve got the right gear, you’ve got to find the eagles. While I won’t say it’s easy to find them, you do have to put your time in. You will spend many hours / days, sitting next to ponds, creeks, rivers and marshes, hoping to find an eagle and if you do find one, you hope it does something interesting and if it does, you hope your skills permit you to capture that great image.
So for me, it’s definitely the challenge. There are lots of days when don’t snap a single photo or if you do, end up deleting them all because they are dull boring images.
But in that rare instance when you’re in the right place at the right time and you’re able to capture that stunning image of such a magnificent bird, all the time and hard work is so worth it!
Below are a couple of the very first Bald Eagle photos I took. I know they are bad, but's it's these crappy photos that got me hooked photographing Bald Eagles!
When I first took the photo above, I had no idea what it was. It was big and pretty far away. Came to learn it was a juvenile Bald Eagle!
My first photo of an adult Bald Eagle
My first half-way decent 'action shot'