First Bald Eagle Photo Trip Of 2010

So on Sunday 03 January 2010, I went for the first photo trip in search of bald eagles on the Mississippi River.  When my dad and I arrived that day, I think the temp was 0 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of about -15.  I was in what I call my “arctic armor”, which is basically wool hunting socks, thinsulate lined hunting boots, longjohns from neck to ankle, camo pants and shirt, wool gloves, wind proof hunting coat, a snug fitting winter beanie, and a neoprene ski mask.  (Which by the way heats your face with your own breath.  It’s amazing.)  So anyway, that’s my cold weather gear which I call artic armor. 

I’ve heard so many people at the camera store I work at talk about their cameras or batteries not working in this kind of weather, but I think they’re all crazy, because my camera works like a charm in this sub zero weather.  No problems with focusing or with batteries.  Even the view screen worked fine.  I use a D300 with a battery grip, and a 70-200 to shoot eagles.  Both work like a charm in frigid weather.

Since it was a Sunday, there were lots of photographers there, lots of amatuers too.  Plus the general families that just come to see the eagles with binoculars.  The guy who baits the eagles was there too, which he often is on weekends.  I forgot about that.  Not a fan.  I have moral problems with baiting anything I photograph.  Just don’t believe in it.  If you can’t improve your craft enough to get a shot without baiting, you don’t deserve the shot at all.  So I stayed AWAY from the baiting area for the entire day.  Funny thing is, I’d camp out in a spot, . . . wait . . . and when the eagles would start hunting near me, the ametuers would rush over to where I was to try to get shots, then the eagles would fly away.  *shakes head*  Reminder to self, for the rest of the season, only photograph eagles at LD14 on weekdays.  *grin* 

So for this first trip, I didn’t get any really good hunting shots of the eagles with talons open about to grasp a fish.  Instead I got a lot of nice close-ups of eagles flying overhead with fish in their talons.  I had a couple of shots that were kinda silhouettes, so I did some weird creative stuff with those.  Anyway, I hope you like the new shots in the gallery.

http://www.nightowlphotography.com/Birds/Raptors

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