Nature,  Photo Stories,  Wildlife

The Story Behind the Photo: Bald Eagle on the Ice

The Photo Story

I had just arrived at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area in Ohio when I noticed a bald eagle sitting on one of the frozen ponds.  I could pull over since there was frozen, standing water along side the road.  I drove to the next pull off, grabbed, my Canon 5d Mark III, 500mm lens, and monopod and starting walking toward the pond.

Bald Eagle on the Ice

When I arrived at the pond, I found an interesting sight.  A large group of Canada Geese and Tundra Swans were gathered in a small area of the pond that was not frozen.  The Bald Eagle was sitting at the edge of the open water in the middle of the frozen pond.

I’m not sure why the bald eagle was exhibiting such behavior.  Was he waiting to catch an unsuspecting goose or was he fishing at the edge of the water?  He did not harass the geese at all and while they didn’t get too close to the eagle, they didn’t seem to be bothered by his presence.

This was not my best Bald Eagle photo by far, but it was great to capture the eagle in this interesting scene.  You can visit my bald eagle gallery to see more of my eagle photographs.

Details

Camera:  Canon 5d Mark iii
Lens:  Canon 500mm f/4 IS with 1.4x teleconverter
Focal Length:  700mm
ISO:  400
Aperture:   f/11
Shutter Speed: 1/1600
Lighting:  Partly cloudy winter afternoon with the sun at my back, front lighting the subject.

Post Processing

  • The composition of the photo fit a panorama so I used Lightroom to crop the image into a pseudo panorama
  • Lightened the shadows, increased saturation, and increased contrast using the develop module in Lightroom
  • Used detail extractor in Color Efex Pro 4 to lightly increase the details in the photo.
  • Selectively sharpened the photo using Unsharp Mask and a Layer Mask in Adobe Photoshop CC.

Related Posts
Photographing Bald Eagles on the Upper Mississippi River
A Gallery of Bald Eagles Fishing
Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area, Ohio – A place to Photograph Raptors

 

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