Yesterday I was observing ducks, geese, and gulls in one of the ponds at my local marshland, when suddenly they all took to the air. It seemed to me that something had spooked them and I quickly scanned the ground area and the water and found nothing. When I turned my eyes to the sky, however, I discovered a relatively large bird flying across my field of vision in the distance
The day was dark and gray and rain clouds covered the sky, so the lighting was not very good. The poor lighting and the fact that the bird was so far away made it tough for me to lock on the focus of the camera, so I was able to snap off only a couple of shots before the bird disappeared completely in the distance.
The flight of the bird did not look like that of the vultures that I have photographed, so I thought that perhaps I had photographed a hawk, though it was hard to know for sure from the image on the little LCD screen of my camera. When I viewed the images on my computer, I was thrilled to discover that I had finally photographed a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Maybe it’s because of the symbolism attached with the bald eagle—all I know is that I felt really happy with my discovery.
These two images are not really that clear and I hope to get better ones in the future. In many ways, I am continuing what I recognize as a pattern in my shooting. The first time I capture a new subject, I am so excited that I will share the image, irrespective of its quality. The second time, the quality of the image normally increases dramatically.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved