Trending as today's number one Animal image on 500PX! Here's the story and the lessons behind this image.
In the winter of 2006 Alan Kearney and I went to Homer Alaska to photograph Bald Eagles. When we got there it was snowing, actually most of the drive down from Anchorage I was wondering if we'd make it to Homer. But, we got there and were hanging around the hotel complaining about the weather. Can't take photos in the middle of a snow storm right? But, we decided to go down and see where the eagles were, so when or if the weather got better we'd be ready. We drove down to the spit, parked next to Jean's house by the picnic tables and had a great view of the driftwood perches that everyone has seen from the Homer Spit. Except there were no eagles on the perches. After awhile though a few eagles flew in and this one flew in pretty close. Most of the time it kept it's head sideways , but then after about 20 minutes it looked straight at me. The wind and snow was coming off Kachemak Bay flowing snow into the lens hood and straight into the car. It was 18 degrees, so we were inside the car with the heater going full blast, and had down jackets, hats, gloves everything on. When the eagle looked at me, I started taking images, later when we got back to the hotel, I looked over the images and knew that no matter what happened the rest of the trip, I had a great shot. Excitement, satisfaction, relief, and joy all flooded over me. This image still makes me laugh, and I'm grateful that I was able to be there, see this and photograph it.
Lessons I learned that day:
Always go out no matter the weather (if it's safe enough.)
There's no good weather or bad weather, there's just weather. We need to increase our skills so we can photograph in all weather conditions.
Always be ready to take the image of your life. Batteries charged, lens and camera ready etc.
If a bird looks directly at you -- don't think, squeeze the shutter button. Anticipate the action, be ready for it.
This isn't my best image, but it's the one I'm known for. Because it makes people laugh, and they remember the joy of that laughter.
We're blessed to be able to photograph nature, to be outside to explore and discover.
(Of course images can be purchased from my Galley Page or T-shirts can be purchase on the Shop Page of my website.)
Enjoy! -- Thanks -- Tim