I have a habit of taking up and dropping hobbies at a fairly high rate. My INTP personality, lately changing to an INTJ, it seems, thrives on new challenges. Photography is one of the few hobbies I’ve managed to stick with for many years, and I’m pretty sure it is because it is one that constantly presents new challenges and one I will never master. Part of the challenge is constantly adapting to new equipment and new technology, but the bigger challenge is capturing the right moment. That seems especially true in wildlife photography.
The gathering of birds at Big Beef Creek in June offers a perfect opportunity to develop skills and the potential for a great shot. Sometimes the light hits birds from just the right angle and you get a perfect exposure.
Of course, the best shots are action shots, and to get those you need to follow the eagles as they catch fish,
but it’s much harder to control the light since you seldom know where the eagles will fly in from, nor where they will decide to eat the fish they’ve caught.
This should probably have been the best shot of the sequence — it’s certainly my favorite “pose” —
but what little light there was coming from behind the eagle and there’s no way to pull more detail from the wings.
Of course, the eagle did fly overhead and behind us to feast on his catch
and the light, and exposure, was nearly perfect.
Luckily, I seldom worry about these things while shooting, especially if I have no control over them. All of the amateur photographers I hang out with simply ooh and aah when the birds swoop by with their catch. Any frustration I have with the shots tends to take place sitting in front of the computer, long after the experience itself. That’s why when passer-bys ask me if I got “any good shots,” I say that I won’t know until I get home and can see them on my computer screen.
It’s frustrating not being able to control all the variables, but it is probably what makes shooting wildlife so addictive for me — that and learning my many mistakes.