The weather conditions are ideal for Bald Eagle photography at the moment. First we had a clean blue sky, which in combination with a low sun in the afternoon makes for good colors and light. And second, it was cold, and I mean really cold, and this requires the eagles to eat a lot in order to survive. If the eagles are hungry they are in permanent move in search for fish, and this gives us photographers a lot more shooting opportunities than if the temperature is just around the freezing point.
As expected, about 60 miles down the river at lock & dam #14 in Le Claire, Iowa the parking lot was quite full and people enjoyed watching and photographing a good number of Bald Eagles today. The cold bares some challenges and being properly dressed is absolutely essential for spending time behind the camera. I saw several people climbing out of their cars full of enthusiasm and making a fashion statement with every piece of clothes they wore, but ten minutes later they disappeared again because they were not dressed warm enough. Shooting with gloves is not my favorite thing to do but there was no way around it today without a high risk of frostbites.
I took many pictures of Bald Eagles already during the last thirteen years since we lived near the Upper Mississippi Valley. So why going back to the best spots over and over again with the camera? Well, just watching these majestic creatures is priceless and having hundreds of photos in the files doesn’t mean there are no new gestures or light patterns to discover, and there is always this one special picture that still needs to be made…😉
All images: Nikon D750, Sigma 150-600mm / f5-6.3 DG OS HSM S, Induro GIT 404XL tripod, Induro GHB2 gimbal head