I have gotten a bunch of questions on how did I get this photograph.
The Quick Answer:
Ultimately, this is a once in a life time shot. With how fast and erratic eagles move, a photographer never knows quite what they will get. However, there are ways a photographer can set themselves up for higher odds of success. How to do that is what I can share here.
The Longer Answer
There are some rules any photographer should follow in shooting wildlife because one never knows when and where action may happen.
1. Have the correct ISO. Setting this is critical. This setting is how sensitive the camera is to light. With wildlife, because of distance and wanting to capture movement, there will always be some level of grain to deal with. On a beautiful day, my ISO will be somewhere between 800-1600.
2. Use a high shutter speed. Having a higher ISO allows for the shutter speed to go higher in order to capture movement.
3. Learning to track with the camera autofocus. When wildlife is on the move, manual focus is not an option if the goal is to get a clear focus on the subject. I have run across several theories of how to track focus. My favorite remains the single focus point with continual focus. (Does that sound like a foreign language? That is ok. It does to me too!) But regardless of what method you use, one thing is clear... It takes practice. And even if someone feels they are good at it, they still need to practice because there are always going to be shots where focus is lost.
The Long and Short of It?
Photography in many ways is a science. But whenever circumstances are out of the photographer's control, that is when it becomes an art. It is the process of figuring out how to work with the situation one has. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. There is nothing lost when it doesn't turn out because that is valuable knowledge that is gained. But when it works, then it is time to celebrate and enjoy it!
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