Tag Archives: MD

A few favorite Bald eagle photographs

Bald eagles are awesome, getting a good shot of an eagle fishing was probably my first bucket list shot, and I got it at Centennial Lake in Maryland a decade ago. The lake wasn’t known for eagles fishing but they did fish there sometimes. I learned at the time there were a few nests within a few miles and Columbia Maryland has 4 lakes…

This is an eagle flying by with a Coot from Merritt Island in Florida. Tue coots are there in groups of hundreds of birds. (I had a post on Flickr but must have deleted it in my purge. )

This image shows an eagle with a GPS “backpack” used to track it.

Finally this is a Ed Clark Jr about to release a rehabbed Immature eagle that had fallen out of its nest when it was just a nestling.

When young eagles fledge they’re full size. And actually they might seem bigger than adults because they have slightly oversized “training” feathers. 😉🦅

Creative Interpretation

I’d say for a long time I approached photography as trying to capture what I see.

That’s a pretty straightforward and simple approach.  To get more interesting photos it requires finding more interesting subjects and scenes.

By contrast some times subjects are plain, and lack something that would “make” an image more appealing.  To capture these subjects sometimes trying to capture things that are not immediately seen is the way to go.

Peabody Library – This image is an example of that. I was in the space outside the library and trying to see what I could find that was more interesting, and I was pleased to find this reflective can to shoot in to.

Peabody Conservatory

Two other examples are below, where instead of just finding a unique spot to point my lens at, I used a “photography trick” and slid the zoom on my lens to creative effect.

Muir Woods – for this image I was restricted to a single camera body and lens, and no tripod, and probably an hour in the woods.  I made some simple images of the woods and trees, but this image looking up and sliding the zoom lens is one of a few like this that I really liked from the trip.
Muir Woods

The Memorial Illumination – Battle of Antietam – this image also involved sliding the zoom lens while the shutter was open.  To get this result half the exposure time was done without moving the lens.  This is the part where the candles can be seen.  The other half of the exposure time is from the slide, and that is how the red lines were made.
The Memorial Illumination - Battle of Antietam

Peabody Library – Finally here’s a mostly straightforward image, but with a literal twist. I had tried to line things up and make things symmetrical, and couldn’t get it right, so instead I left things out of balance and I liked the result a lot more.

George Peabody Library in Baltimore

Blackwater NWR, MD

Blackwater refuge is one of my favorite places.  It’s about 100 miles (driving) east of me, and takes almost 2 hours to get there.  I first went in 2006, and didn’t make it there for sunrise until my second visit.
The 100 mile sunrise

Since then, I’ve been there probably more than 100 times. It’s in the top 3 places I’ve been too (with Great Falls and the US National Zoo being the other two).

Here are a few of my favorite images.

Snow geese, double-bird shot.
Double Blue Goose @ Blackwater Refuge, MD 2010

Great Blue Heron w/ fish
Great Blue

An American Kestrel w/ some food and flying upside down…
Top Gun

A pair of eagles in the morning watching their territory
Eagles @ Blackwater

I have this one printed big on my wall, I love the lush green grass and still water reflecting the clouds above. Taken with Nikon D4.
National Treasure!

Finally this flock of Red-Winged Blackbirds was fun to see and shoot from the Wildlife Drive.
Red-Winged Black Birds!


Here is my flickr set for Blackwater Refuge.  And here’s a blog I made as a landing page for Blackwater refuge.

If you decide to go, you should get there for sunrise, avoid late spring and summer (bugs!!!), and get a Duck Stamp which covers entry fees for a year (~July to July) in all National Wildlife Refuges in the country. You can get these at the refuge, or at a post office.

https://www.friendsofblackwater.org/ has an eagle cam in the winter and an osprey cam in the spring and summer.

My current favorite camera is the Nikon D850, and I primarily use the Nikon 600mm.

If you are on a budget or are looking for a good deal – I recommend you investigate these two:

  • Nikon 200-500mm – I don’t own this, but I have heard great things, and it is very affordable. I know a few people who use this regularly and get great results. I may get it to use instead of my 200-400mm and 80-400mm.
  • Nikon D500 – this is 20MPs and 10 frames per second. It’s a great high megapixel high frame rate body. I own this and used it regularly for birds and nature – until I got the D850. The D850 is slower and full frame, but for me I am good with going slower and have a larger field of view (FX vs DX).

Here’s a shot with D500 and 600mm…
Make Me Bend