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Thread: How to photograph eagles?

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    How to photograph eagles?

    Greetings,

    Does anyone here have some hints on how to do that best? I tried a few shots but ran into some problems.

    Looking at my histogram files that appeared to be all right in camera would have the birds beacon easily blown out in post processing

    My guess is that a pol.circ. Filter will help that.

    Shooting from tripod woith mirror lockup is somehow not an option as you can not choose when to take the shot. So, using MFDB at ISO 400 with fast shutter speed seems to be the only way.

    An aperture of 7.1 seems to be minimum to bring all of the birds features in focus.

    This one here was shot at 1/5000 at F1.8 ISO 320, still highlights are blown

  2. #2
    Super Duper
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Georg - We spent close to a week in Homer Alaska last year and a couple days at Anchor Point shooting eagles. I tried it with MFDB and soon found it unsuitable and quickly switched to a 1Ds II and 400DO lens (with 2x extender). I tried this combo on a tripod but soon learned it was too constrictive and went to handholding and stalking. Felt like the paparazzo walking up to the eagles on the beach then during a burst following them as they took off.

    As I said I tried with the P30+ and 300mm and found focus way too slow and the lens just not long enough. I also found on that trip that if I wanted any wildlife I had to resort to the 1Ds II.

    I'll post a sample of eagles later when I get into the studio computer.

    Don

    BTW - Great image!
    Don Libby
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    Super Duper
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Just found these on my laptop
    Don Libby
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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Thanks Don!

    I am really pissed. I am toooo bloody stupid to figure it out.

    I have to go now and shoot and don't know how.... arghhh

    I just made a test shot on the sony alpha at F8 with -0.3.... display did NOT show blown highlights.... load the shot in C1 and blown HL.

    have to run.... laters

  5. #5
    Super Duper
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Glad to have helped (I think...)

    You got me thinking of the Alaska trip and the fun we had with the eagles. Hope you don't mind me posting a couple.

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Super Duper
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Of course not all the images were that good ...

    These will be the last I promise...


    Don

    Out takes ..
    Don Libby
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    Super Duper
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Thanks for allowing me to hijack your thread!

    I'm returning control back to you
    Don Libby
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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    What do you think? I guess this one is a little better.... still not happy


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    Super Duper
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Heck - I'd be proud to have it!
    Don Libby
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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Don,

    I am really facing a serious dilemma while working now scince two days on this. The longer I do it, the more I see what is wrong and want it to be just perfect.

    Not sure if you know what I mean, but at the moment, it is just extremly frustrating. I am in a filthy mood as a result in deed. You know that feeling that you just can't get it right the way you want it to be, and well.... it sucks.

    Sorry for ranting, but I am at a deep point concerning my photography. Too much stress with other stuff as well doesn't help either I suppose. On top, when tense and stressed, I am not good at shooting relaxed, hence the results are &@*(&*^!()@

    Ah well, .... can't get worse. I better shut up now, I am only bitchin all day any way.

    P.S.

    Nice frames Don.... looks like you had tons of fun.... and that's what I need to get back into my photography as well.... the fun part, without that, I could go back to the office. LOLOL

  11. #11
    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    <mumbling> I'm not giving up.... I'm not giving up.




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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Georg Baumann View Post
    I just made a test shot on the sony alpha at F8 with -0.3.... display did NOT show blown highlights.... load the shot in C1 and blown HL.
    Try this in C1 > Quick Tab > Base Characteristics > Curve > choose Linear Response instead of Film Standard and see if the blown highlights are better. The image will look much flatter but you can bring it back by adding a curve.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Georg - I'm no wildlife expert so take my comments accordingly...

    What I see in the second image is sharp and in focus head shot. The color is great and the eye is tact sharp. I've always heard that when photographing wildlife the way to save an image is to make sure the eye or eyes are sharp and in focus your sample does that. The area around the eye looks just as good extending out to the beak (?). I'm drawn to the face and eye of the bird just as it should be. The colors are good as is the muted background. There's lots of good detail in this image.

    Don't know what you are attempting to accomplish however this image is very good.

    So - quite your bitching grab your camera and go back out and have fun as you stalk the birds!


    Don
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    You've added more images while I was responding....

    I also have been looking at and enjoying the images you've added all the while forgetting that you've said there's problems with blown highlights. It must be me because on either computer I open this thread up on I see the same thing - great color, great image, no problems with anything other than you've been able to accomplish this using MF when I couldn't do the same last year.

    Am I missing something here?

    Don
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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Don,

    blown HL were in the first shot, the following were much better controlled. I did not say they were MF, all the above are DSLR files.

    This here is MF, and unfortunately.... @&)*!)^[email protected]



    Hi cmb,

    thanks for looking! Yes, you are right, this helps in some cases in deed! Thanks for that!

    All in all, I came to the conclusion that golden eagles are extremly difficult to get right, to me at least. The pronounces beak, the curve, is an ideal reflector for harsh light. A circ. Pol does not help either, as it gets only a fraction of the beak due to its curved nature.

    The ony thing to do, and I do not have anything like this, is to use reflectors and do a glamour shot thing I suppose.

    Other predators where the beak sits closer to the head, are much easier. See this Peregrine, absolutely no problem.


  16. #16
    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Quote Originally Posted by cmb_ View Post
    Try this in C1 > Quick Tab > Base Characteristics > Curve > choose Linear Response instead of Film Standard and see if the blown highlights are better. The image will look much flatter but you can bring it back by adding a curve.
    Just went back to the sony files and I am able to safe a couple fo them now, quite good enough to be printed!

    Thanks man, you safed my day!!!

  17. #17
    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    ouch.... I got a out of memory message now in C1 ( I have 32 gig) and can not even force quit the app.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Went back to the original post - thought I read that you were using MFDB...

    I've got 24GB RAM and have never had a memory concern - what happened? Did you get it fixed?
    Don Libby
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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Yeah, was using both phas one and sony .

    Nope, VERY weired.... it said out of memory and if I want to restart the app, but did not give me an option to do that.

    C1 froze up and 1 core was running 100% all the time.

    Trying to force quit did not work either.

    Then a C1 message appeard about log out time and asking me whether I want to force quit, now giving me an option, I said yes, and nothing happened, only 1 minugte later the same message.... did that 3 times, then had to switch out the Mac. This has never happened on a Mac here before. Not good!

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Ok.... I had it.... all i see is feathers...feathers and more feathers.... Time to sleep....


  21. #21
    Super Duper
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Hey Georg are you back up and running?

    Don

    BTW - great speaking with you that call must of cost a fortune!
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    Re: How to photograph eagles?

    Georg - looks like you got some keepers.

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