Clouds can be a mixed blessing. Clouds can help diffuse the sunlight and eliminate harsh highlights. However, when the skies are as heavily overcast as they were for most of this past weekend, they can block so much light that details are hidden and contrast is really soft.
When I saw a bird with a large wingspan take flight in the distance, I readied myself. I wasn’t sure if it was a hawk, a vulture, or an eagle (or possibly even a heron), but I will generally try to get shots of any large bird I see in the sky. As I tracked the bird and took some shots, I still couldn’t positively identify the bird, but my hopes rose in anticipation that it might be a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).
Bald Eagles are one of the few species that I will try to photograph every single time that I manage to spot one. I did get some shots of what turned out in fact to be a Bald Eagle. They are recognizable, though the poor lighting conditions made it impossible to capture the details of its feathers. Usually I worry about blowing out the highlights of the eagle’s white head—that was not a problem this time.
I’ve had a pretty good year spotting eagles and suspect this might be the last one that I see in 2015, though I am heading out in a little while and am eternally hopeful that I will spot another one. As with many other photographic subjects, I hope in the coming year to get even better images of eagles, one of my favorite (and most challenging) subjects.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.