It’s what happens when opportunity meets preparation. At least that’s what Seneca thought and the longer I am a nature photographer, the more I believe it.
In mid-December, I headed out to ostensibly do some landscape photography and while packing my bag I almost didn’t take my 100-400mm. I thought that I probably wouldn’t see any wildlife and had it in my hand as I considered leaving it behind. But since I shoot m4/3s that lens isn’t really big so I took it.
While driving along I noticed a whole bunch of ravens ahead on both sides of the road. They were up in trees, but I know why they gather like that and so slowed to see if I could spot the carcass. What I did spot was this beauty right next to the road and only about 20 feet up.
Using the Jeep as a blind I stopped, twisted around to the backseat and attached the long lens. Then I just put the window down and leaned against the door pillar with my elbows braced and – Presto!
While I shot I expected it to fly away at any moment, but before it did I got a glimpse of its breakfast –
It’s most likely a bit of venison since I saw what was left of a deer leg further up the road a bit. Not terribly pleasant, but a necessary function. I just wish the ravens were as brave.
The bottom line though is what Seneca so famously wrote. If I hadn’t brought my long lens, I wouldn’t have been able to capitalize on this opportunity. I’d have been ill-prepared. So with just a twist of the dial to my Wildlife Custom Mode I got some quality time with this stunning bird. My first of three eagles I saw that day, but the only one that got its picture taken.
This was indeed luck! Sometimes I wish I had brought a different lens when I have been out, but half the time by the time I do change lenses the moment or subject is gone. These are great shots, and the details are amazing. If you like eagles, check out the Decorah Eagle Cam – mating season and eggs are soon to come, and it is always a thrill to watch.
Yeah, the wrong lens scenario is a killer sometimes. But I’ve learned my lesson and was fabulously fortunate this bird hung out long enough for me to put the right lens on. Lesson learned – keep it mounted and on the passenger seat! Just checked out the D Eagle cam. Cool site. I have a reminder on my calendar in March to check out the one eagle nest I know of that can be seen from the shoreline and not a kayak only. They should be doing maintenance on it and other pair bonding type stuff and I hope I can get some photos or video or both.
I think the fact that you shoot 4/3 helps a lot in the long lens category. The Nikon V series had that going for them, and I really have enjoyed mine. Looking forward to what you see at your eagle site – get an even l o n g e r lens for your viewing pleasure – hahahaha! Watch the D cam – I sometimes have it on when I know stuff is going on. The other day the eagle cries were echoing through the house and I had forgotten I had it on – eek!