PHOTO TIP OF THE MONTH

Bald Eagles on Ice:
I was photographing bald eagles in Homer Alaska in March 2006.  I wanted to get some group shots of the eagles and noticed that one had landed on an ice that was close to the shore.  After a few minutes another eagle landed and then another.  I focused my lens on the ice and gave plenty of room at the top to let another eagle in the frame.  Then after several minutes an adult eagle circled and came in.  I was ready and got the shot!

I had overcast light which helped reduce the overall tonal range of the image and helped me capture all the detail in the dark areas as well as the highlights.  I exposed the scene as middle tone, took a quick shot when only 2 eagles were on the ice and looked at my histogram to see if the highlights were overexposed.  Next I adjusted my exposure so that my highlights (the white head feathers)  were 1/3 stop from being blown out (blinking on my preview screen).  I  needed a fast shutter speed to  freeze the action if another eagle flew in.  For this I used ISO 400 (one stop more than 200) and f8 gave me 1/800 sec for my shutter speed.  With the correct exposure locked in the camera all I had to do was wait for another eagle to land.  This took only a few minutes and I knew I had the shot.  I didn't stop there. I kept focus and waited to see what would happen.  Soon all of them took flight and I got a few more images of them taking off.  


Past PhotoTips

July 2006

September 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003