I wish that I could say that this was a carefully planned shot. But no, it was just luck.
I was focused on the one parent bald eagle in the nest with its eyes just above the edge of the nest. It was a snowy, overcast, cold morning and I was looking to capture an image of the bald eagle in a snowy nest. So there I was photographing the eagle in the nest when its mate just flew into my viewfinder frame and landed in the nest. I did not see it coming. Fortunately, I just was in the midst of a series of shots (at 10 frames per second) for about 1-2 seconds when this happened.
Luck can happen. Especially when I discovered that the previous frame had the wings clipped at the top of the frame, and in the next shot after this one the eagle had landed.
Also, for my photographer friends, I was about to lower the shutter speed to 1/1000 sec for the portrait shot of the eagle in the nest in order to lower the ISO, which was very high. Again, fortunately, I did not adjust the setting before the surprise arrival. At 1/1600 sec, the shutter speed is a bit slow for good bird-in-flight photography. Fortunately, it was slowing down to land and wings were up (slowest wing velocity) and 1/1600 sec worked. At 1/1000 sec it would have been blurred. Double luck.
Lower ISO would have been much preferred, but I am impressed at how well the 7D Mark 2 handled the noise at ISO 3200. Camera Raw noise reduction was applied.
Maybe it makes up for all those thousands of missed shot where planning was involved.
Canon 7D Mark 2, Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS, Mark 2, handheld
1/1600sec, f/5.6, iso 3200, @400mm.
Home Delivery – It’s a cold snowy morning in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, but our bald eagles continue to deliver the goods.