Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

The tides, the winds, the sun and the weather. Even if you know where and when to find eagles….even if you know how to photograph eagles….even if you have the right gear….there’s always the tides, the winds, the sun and the weather. These four fources impact everything you do as a wildlife/bird photographer.

Yesterday, the tides, the winds, the sun and the weather conspired against us and we were shut out. The sun and the tides are predictable. We have all sorts of iPhone/ Android apps to tell us where the sun will be and when the tide is coming in or out. But we can’t control the weather and the winds. When they are wrong they are wrong. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Bald blue skies with crisp cold temperatures, left us without cover as a horrible northeastern wind came up making bird photography impossible.

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

The tide was too low to take our boat inside the bay where we’re closest to the eagles so we beached and tried to do some perched shots, but the wind was strong and from the wrong direction so we headed in early.

When you are photographing eagles, you want the sun AND the wind behind you. The birds fly into the wind. If the wind and the sun are behind you, you get some of the great images you see in this post. If the sun and the wind are NOT behind you, you get nothing.

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

So the first two days were glorious and yesterday we got shut out. This weekend there is a light snow in the forecast. This is great news. As long as it doesn’t snow too hard or too long it could provide an amazing backdrop for photographing eagles.

Meanwhile I’ve already started the editing process, picking and saving my favorite images. What’s different about it this year is that I am for the first time, using a Windows machine. Yes, I know, I am supposed to be an Apple fanboy. But sorry, the Apple lineup just can’t keep up speedwise. My new Hewlitt Packard Elite Book is super fast. It’s a workstation-class laptop that is as fast as many desktops. Especially when it comes to the graphics chip. That’s important to photographers since most of the photo software we use today is GPU not CPU dependent.

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

The new HP True Color display is a joy to work on and render times for video are remarkably short. It’s taken some getting used to, but I am committed to using Windows now. Once I’m inside Lightroom/Photoshop it doesn’t matter much. I am used to that eco-system. And with the help of a few programs like “ObjectDock,” I can make the Windows seem more Mac-like.

That is the news so far. I will update at least once more. Thanks for sticking with me as I photograph the eagles of Alaska.

______

This Post Sponsored by:

lynda.com Learn photography anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace—from bite-sized tutorials to comprehensive courses. Try lynda.com free for 10 days by visiting lynda.com/​Photofocus.

Skip Cohen University Professional photo education for wedding & portrait photographers.

ThingLink offers an interactive, online photo experience like nothing you’ve seen before. Join for free.

Drobo – Not only is Drobo 5D fast, but it’s easy-to-use, expandable, flexible, and protected.

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. What an incredible place you are, I wish I was there with you. I am glad you have found the real horsepower in a windows machine. If I could build a Custom Apple machine I would be an Apple user. The fact is I cannot so I am not!

    Anyways I know you are using ObjectDock, you really should try RocketDock with Stack Docklet. The stack docklets allows you to click on a single icon and all of the programs contained in that folder fan out on top of the icon.

    For example I use the Stack Docklet for the entire Adobe Suite. It’s Super easy access to every Adobe program with a single click on my desktop and it works almost like the Apple system. The only thing I wish was the same is the ability to drag stuff on to the dock to open a particular program.

    Reply
  2. I have same laptop. Very pleased with it. Be more pleased if I was in Alaska using it processing eagle shots.

    Reply
  3. Phenomenal Eagle photos. Beautifully done! Now if I could figure out how to do that with something as common as a crow… That was a goal I gave myself when I retired – get a good picture of a crow. Still not there.

    Reply
  4. Scott – Great bird image tips and as always, I enjoy the site. On the Elite Book, I went to HP’s site and had a hard time configuring one similar to a MacBook Pro Ret. 17 with an i7 and 1GB DDR discrete GPU, but there were four pages and I was trying to max one out to see what was possible and may have missed the right on-ramp. How have you configured yours?

    Reply
  5. Hey Scott, thanks for taking good care of my cousin the “Youngster”, she’s having a great time learning from you!

    Reply
  6. @Stephanie she’s a joy it’s my pleasure.

    @Theodore maxed out – much faster than Mac

    @Rich keep shooting – if I can do it anyone can :)

    Reply
  7. Wow Scott. The first two shots of the Bald Eagles are absolutely amazing. The timing and the clarity of the the first one over the water is sooooo cool. I hope you don’t mind that I saved it and made it a wallpaper on my laptop. I recently found an area near Lincoln Illinois that has a Bald Eagle nest. I still have not yet caught the eagle yet. The nest is huge though.

    Take care,
    Jerlynn

    Reply

Let us know your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Category

News

Tags

, , ,