Wildlife Photography | that time I botched an epic eagle photo-op

Immature Bald Eagle | click images to enlarge

Immature Bald Eagle | click images to enlarge

I had just pulled up along side the river and gotten out of my truck to take a look around. Right away a big, dark shape took off from a tree across the water and it caught my eye.

“An eagle!” I said to myself (I do like to talk to myself ). I quickly grabbed the camera and tried to get it set up on the tripod, only to find the bird took a sharp turn off the direction it had been heading.

Now it was heading directly towards me…staring me straight in the eye.

And wouldn’t you know, that totally threw me off my game. Like BIG TIME.

I totally fumbled my camera settings and totally botched getting a focused photo of that crazy bird heading straight for my face. Photographer FAIL. Yeah, it happens (and if some other photog tells you they never fail, well, I’m going to go ahead and say “yeah ok, liar-liar-pants-on-fire”).

I digress.

The eagle landed on a tree branch right above my head and stared down at me as I desperately tried to get it in frame with what was now the wrong lens (super telephoto prime lens) for the job. I had to essentially drop to my knees and shoot up.

Then the rational side of me said, “DUDE, why didn’t you just take several steps backwards?”

All I can say is that the whole experience that unfolded within a couple seconds of stepping out of my truck flustered me. So I stood up and began to slowly take a couple steps backwards. But it decided that was un-cool and took off flying through the tree line. All I could do was laugh. But seriously, it would have been so cool. At least my mental snap shot is pure awesomeness.

And now you know about the time I botched an epic eagle shot.

Immature Bald Eagle

Immature Bald Eagle

PS. Yes! I did momentarily wonder if it was going to grab my head (or worse, camera) with its talons. But I was more panic-y about being on the wrong camera settings and botching my shot. This is probably why my mom doesn’t want me to go in pursuit of photographing bears 😉

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