Bald Eagles at Conowingo Dam, MD

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Sam Posten, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Had my first experience out shooting bald eagles today! (well, Yesterday now!)


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kadath/5191411664/

    Blog post:
    http://www.navesink.net/2010/11/conowingo-dam-bald-eagles.html












    Full set:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kadath/sets/72157625302188513/with/5190819523/



    These are nowhere near as good as those of crew from Nikon Cafe who go there almost daily. If you want to be REALLY inspired please check this thread out:
    http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=284371

    If you can do it, please consider doing a day trip to the Dam! It took me 40 years to get there and all along these magnificent birds, which destroy the idea you have of them in your head when you finally see them live, our national symbol, have been less than 2.5 hours away from me. I'm working 20 minutes away and I know I will be back for sure, better prepared for the lighting and ready to see their beauty again in whatever light presents itself!
     
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  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Great pictures, Sam!
    (Although I may not be visiting the Conowingo Dam anytime soon.)


    Cees
     
  3. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    Very nice, Sam.
     
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Nice shots, Sam. Shooting birds in flight can be challenging. You captured some fine images.
     
  5. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Screenwriter

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    Sam,

    Vary cool indeed. I have been living close enough to Conowingo for far too long without even knowing these creatures were around. I assume all of those shots are from below the dam? Which side of the Susquehanna - Port Deposit?
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Sweet shot, Sam!
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Thanks Guys!

    Christopher, it's the south side, just west of 95. Take 95 over the Susquehanna and instead of turning east for Havre De Grace turn west.

    http://www.harfordbirdclub.org/conowingo.html

    Look for the intersection of Shuresville Road and Shures Landing Road on google maps. There is a TON of parking plus portapotties. Not too many restaurants close by tho, bring food and drink with you.

    There's some really brilliant pics taken there the last few weeks, check out the last few pages of this post:
    http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=284371
     
  8. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    Great shots! I've been to Conowingo several times when I went to school out east, but never saw bald eagles when I was there. Envious!
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Apparently November is the best time for Eagle Spotting here.
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I chose the shot above as the cover of the yearly book I make for my family via Blurb. I cannot recommend Blurb more highly, this is the fifth year I have made a Blurb book and their software gets better and better all the time, and now I can make absolutely giant picture books with stunningly beautiful covers and very thick high quality paper.

    You can see this one and all four of my previous ones here:
    http://www.blurb.com/user/store/Kadath

    I have turned on full book previews now, it used to be that blurb would only show the first 15 pages or so but now you can see the whole thing cover to cover. Most of my images are only of interest to my family but I'm sure a few of you would get a kick out of seeing just how easy it is to make books like this of your own.

    Sam
     
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  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    This machine shoots eagles! :)

    [​IMG]
    80-400vr2 by Kadath, on Flickr

    Finally replacing my 1976 era vivitar 400mm manual focus lens wirh something a bit more modern... Plan to hit the Dam Sunday!
     
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  12. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Nice wildlife outfit, Sam. Happy shooting, and let's see some pics!
     
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  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Soon!
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    More to come when I get my calibration reset, but so far I'm liking it. Handholding is tough, and you can see some blur in this shot even at the high shutter speed and VR engaged. VR might be a mistake with birds, still exploring.

    [​IMG]
    13-ConowingoApril-0045 by Kadath, on Flickr
     
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  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Had no idea about this. Going to tell my wife; I think she'd like it.
     
  16. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Great shot Sam!
     
  17. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Nice shot, Sam.

    Whether you leave VR turned on or not should probably depend on how quickly it engages. If you need to wait a second or two for it to engage, you may want to turn it off for birds in flight.
     
  18. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Full set is now up:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kadath/sets/72157633245862155/with/8688813039/

    A couple samples:
    [​IMG]
    13-ConowingoApril-0075 by Kadath, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    13-ConowingoApril-9976 by Kadath, on Flickr

    I re-calibrated the colors, let me know how these look on your guys machines please!
     
  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    It looks like you got some good captures, Sam. Getting the eagle with a fish really adds to the shots. Regarding the two samples, the subject in the first appears a little under exposed on my monitor, but the second one looks better.

    I'd love to get some shots of eagles. Two were spotted at Huntington Beach State Park during our visit a couple of weeks ago (see my most recent shots here), but I was not fortunate enough to see them.
     
  20. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Thanks for the comments Scott. Shooting these guys is a challenge for sure. The problem is they are literally spinning circles 100 feet in the air above you changing the lighting conditions with every degree of turn. And it's fading light. And the lens weighs eight pounds and the camera another 2. And you are arching your back wheeling to try to get it right =)

    That's if you are incredibly lucky. Most of the time they are hundreds of yards away and you can just grit your teeth and enjoy the spectacle without getting great captures.
     

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