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Bald eagles of the James River
Posted By: loco, 11-12-2014, 05:15 PM

I'm sorry I haven't posted on the forum for some time. This year has been a down year for me, photography-wise. I just haven't been out shooting as much as I have in the past. Things have picked up lately and I'm starting to get back into it. Then, my K-30 broke and needed to go in for repair.

Wouldn't you know it - the week after I sent the K-30 off for who knows how long I got a call inviting me to come on a bald eagle tour on the James River near Richmond, Virginia. The eagles have come back and started settling along the James in good numbers in recent years. Many pairs call the area home and migratory birds pass through often.

Photographing bald eagles has been on my bucket list ever since I got into photography a few years ago, so it was awesome to finally get to do it. I had to bring my K-r and that proved challenging since TAv mode was not available to me. I found I got my best shots in manual mode, but since lighting conditions were changing often, TAv would've been a much easier way to go - set it and forget it. I also think the improved tracking continuous focus capabilities of the K-30 would've been very helpful.

Since my only telephoto lens was the DA L 55-300, I rented the DA* 300/4 for this trip. The 55-300 AF is very slow and I think would've been totally inappropriate for this type of photography.

The first hour or so was pure frustration. Everyone else was showing me their great photos and I hadn't gotten one in focus yet!! Following the birds in flight through a 300mm lens is quite a challenge and if the AF missed, then you lost them and it was hell trying to get them back in frame again. Slowly I started to get a little better and finally got a few in-focus shots. Hooray!! Of course by then, the three hour tour was almost over. I really want to go back some time when I get my K-30 back.

In the end, I took over 530 snaps and discarded about 80% of them. Here are a few shots I got which I like and I hope you enjoy them! If you get the opportunity to photograph eagles, I heartily recommend it. It is extremely challenging and will test your skills and help you learn new ones. Plus, it's incredibly rewarding -- not only to get eagle photos but just to see them in the wild. They are amazing animals!

Thank you for looking!

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11-13-2014, 09:52 AM   #16
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11-13-2014, 10:06 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Bassie Quote
Those are amazing!
QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Great shots, Lori! Amazing photos. I can't do bird in flight photos. Of course, I don't have a DA *300 either. Maybe someday...
QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
Thank you all very much!!
11-13-2014, 10:14 AM   #18
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Fabulous shots Lori. Like Norm, I'd have some of these hanging on my walls!

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af, bald eagle, camera, da* 300mm f/4, eagles, focus, hour, james, k-30, lens, mode, pentax k-r, photo, photos, shots, virginia, wildlife
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