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National Birds

National Birds
Photo Information
Copyright: Pieter van der Horst (sAner) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EF 28-135 IS USM, RAW @ ISO 100, Hama UV 72mm
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: sAner & sAndra in AlAskA
Theme(s): National Symbols [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-08-24 17:10
Viewed: 5063
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
After a fantastic day at sea and half an hour after we shot THIS Orca, we returned to the harbour of Seward. In the morning we had already seen some bald or American eagles and we had even captured one flying off. Now, at the end of an already great day, we saw another eagle sitting on a pole. When we came closer to shoot him, another one landed just next to him! We were thrilled. For us there are only three negative points about this picture. 1. It was almost six o'clock and the sky had turned greyish. 2. The eagles were up on a manmade pole and not in f.e. a tree. 3. We didn't have time to mount our Sigma 100-300mm lens. Anyway, all in all we are reasonably happy with this picture. Please tell us your honest opinion.

Of course these eagles were 100% free and roaming their wild and natural environment.

Because we saw many, many eagles while we camped at Seward, we decided not to make the long journey to Homer, which is supposed to be eagle-heaven. We guarantee Seward is a great place to see eagles aswell.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), also known as the American Eagle, is a bird of prey found in North America, most recognizable as the national bird of the United States.

The species was on the brink of extinction in the USA late in the 20th century, but now has a stable population and is in the process of being removed from the U.S. federal government's list of endangered species.

This eagle gets both its common and scientific names from the distinctive appearance of the adult's head. Bald in the English name refers to the white head feathers, and the scientific name is derived from Haliaeetus, the New Latin for "sea eagle," (from the Greek haliaetos) and leucocephalus, the Greek for "white head," from leukos ("white") and kephale ("head").
Exif data-

Shutter Speed: 1/160
F-stop: f/7.1
Focal length: 135mm
ISO Speed: 100
White Balance Mode: Daylight
Exposure Compensation: 0
AF Mode: AI Focus AF
Weather Condition: Sunny
Time: 17:46:18
Tripod: no
Flash: no
Filters: Hama UV Filter
Image Quality: RAW
PP software: PS CS2

geneafred, aido, coasties, metcher, dew77, red45, Janice, wkshelton, scottevers7, carper, wallhalla15, RAP, Robespierre, marhowie, Signal-Womb, annagrace, GreenBaron, nardophoto has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2006-08-24 17:40]

Very cool. They look like Fighter Jets just doing the stare down right befor they pounce. Very cool shot.

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2006-08-24 17:53]

yeah, ready for take-off! superb capture, pieter! :-)
besides the 3 "negative" points you mentioned yourself,
that i really do not find so bad, i do not see anything else "negative".
on the contrary i like it - the impressive Bald Eagles and
their terrific poses, fully concentrated and staring together in one direction is marvellous.
well done & take care, thorsten.

Wahouuu, this photo is really powerfull, it seems that these two guardians are looking and waiting for the same thing...

You are right, with a blue sky and a tree, this photo will be really great ! But I love it like that too :o))



Hi Pieter,
Great picture of these bald eagles.
Nicely captured and well composed.
Sharp, clear, neat image. Great details.
Great shot.

Ben Lakitan

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-08-24 21:22]

Hi Pieter,
Excellent shot! You mention the three things you would like to change but I think we all have something we'd change about a lot of images, I know I do. I think it's a great shot showing them in their 'natural' environment, as unnatural as it may seem. Great detail and the thing that really stands out for me is the exposure. Even with the fairly bright sky you still have details in the darker areas without overexposing. Great camera work and nice to see some wild Eagles on TN.

Good morning Pieter,
Just time for a quick visit.
Nice capture. have a great weekend.

Hi Pieter

What a wonderful sight. You must be pleased with this shot. Very good camera work. :-)

Hi, Pieter.
Nice catch. Two bald eagles in one. Good quality on birds. Weather is not your fault. It's often with wildlife so. If you plan to go to zoo, you can look at first the sky, but not during trip. You did your best here.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-08-25 2:45]

Hello Pieter,
Wonderful capture,exposure is spot on.Details,sharpness, framing and composition are excellent.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-08-25 3:24]

Hi Pieter!

Fantastic picture! Two majestic and beautifull eagles in one shot. Nice POV, only metal pipes are slightly disturbing. It had to be really great day for you my friend!

By the way - bald eagle always remainds me The Muppet Show :-)

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-08-25 3:41]

Powerful capture for these 2 impressive Eagles. I like their parallel pose. To be honest I would have prefer a tree than metallic tubes but I imagine the fellows didn't want to change of place ;-)
Congratulations Pieter and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-08-25 6:04]

It must have been so thrilling to see these wonderful birds. And to have them posing so perfectly for you like this is amazing. They look like twins, in the same pose and looking at the same place. Awesome Pieter. The one on the left looks smaller tho! I'd be pleased if it was mine. Goed werk,

Hi Pieter,
A very nice pair of Bald Eagles here. Amazing how they can look so good no matter how you view them. You did a great job with the conditions you had to shoot under. You handled the light well. Colors and detail in the plumage is perfect. Well done!!!

Hoi Pieter,
Wat een super scherpe foto. Zo veel details zichtbaar in hun mooie verenpak. Ja, jammer van de paal, maar je kunt niet altijd alles perfect hebben. Ik vind de grijze lucht totaal niet zo erg, het laat de koppen van de arends namelijk goed naar voren komen.

  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-08-25 12:06]

prachtige capture,Pieter
dat is weer eens wat anders dann in de dierentuin.hele mooie foto van die twee samen, zeer goed werk.
gr, Jaap

Hello Pieter,
Congrats, this is a great shot with two wonderful birds! Fantastic sharpness, excellent POV and very nice colours. This is a an excellent composition. Thank you for posting.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-08-25 15:47]

Imposing birds Pieter... although the place where you they find it is not the most pleasant (due to our invasion of the natural habitat).

+ POV, DOF, focus, color, sharpness, notes, background.

= composition, lighting, framing.

Regards... Ricardo

Perfect picture.

Ha Pieter,
Ik ben het met je eens dat het mooier was geweest om ze in hun natuurlijke omgeving te kunnen fotograferen. Dat je er nu zelfs 2 in een foto hebt vindt ik wel heel bijzonder. Zelfs de uitdukking van de vogels zijn haast identiek. Toch wel een bijzondere plaat geworden, ondanks die paal en het staal.
Ik zou hem zelf ook posten.
Groet, Ruud

Sharp and detailed Pieter..And two for one! :)
Great post mf.

Hello Pieter, excllent colors, bg,POV DOF perfect captured and composed details, excllent work, TFS Kyle

Hi Pieter, you certainly do get about. What I like about this image is the duel focus of the birds and their placement in the frame which makes the composition. Again, very different and well done.

Hello Pieter,
Majestic birds and well captured!
They look like very alert, and give you a fine pose...
Excellent framing, good natural colours and the details in the birds are amazing but I agree with you about the setting.!
Pablo -

Wild bald eagles are definitely worth posting as we hardly see them! Yes, I agree with your criticisms of this photo and I can even add to them - a higher POV would be better but it's a silly thing to say as you are on they ground and they are not!
The exposure is excellent - thank heavens for RAW, eh? I think it's slightly strange that the one on the right has a slightly darker head than the left one - were they different?

Hi Pieter,
What an amazing and rare capture! You caught two of this wonderful birds at the same time; lucky you! This composition and details are just great! This is a great POV and DOF. Thank you very much for sharing these beauties :)

Ooh, I feel a surge of patriotism! You are incredibly fortunate to see these magnificent birds in the wild. I agree, too bad about the gray sky and manmade element but you can't control everything! Great capture, Pieter, I'm envious...


  • Great 
  • Scott Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 225 W: 0 N: 356] (1752)
  • [2006-09-23 9:47]


Seems there are more Eagles than gulls.
A close friend keeps a sailboat in Seward Harbour. What a great place to go out on the water.


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