Editor’s Note: Each week we’ll be featuring members of the Photofocus community. Part of our New Year’s resolution is to focus on new and emerging talent. As such, Melissa Niu will personally select images from our readers and feature them here on Photofocus.
“The Bald Eagle is for me one of the most magnificent and noble of the Birds and one of the largest birds of prey in North America with a wing spam of approx 7ft. They have now gone from Endangered to Threatened and hopefully will continue to breed in relative safety. Its believed they mate for life. This chap called Cheyenne was taken at the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover in the UK where they do sterling work to help endangered Birds of Prey around the world.
The Hawk Trust is an important centre for receiving injured birds of prey and has one of the only specialist bird of prey hospitals in the UK where they can gain fitness prior to release. Set in 22 acres of woodland and wildflower meadow, there are over 150 birds of prey, from the tiny Pygmy Owl to the Steller’s Sea Eagles! Many of these birds are involved in spectacular daily flying demonstrations where they fly to the music from Dances with Wolves and I defy anyone not to cry like a baby when they witness this for the first time – I did and fogged up the view finder. There are usually about 60 birds flying at the same time in one of the displays. Black Kites, Vultures and Eagles and they fly really close – so close that on one occasion the wing of a Vulture brushed my head – boy what a wonderful feeling of awe.
I used a Canon EOS 7D and my lens is a Canon EF 100-400 Telephoto Zoom lens, F4.5/5.6 L with image stabilizer. No tripod was used because I like the freedom to move quickly and keep up with the birds movements. Camera settings are F/stop F/5.6 with Exposure at 1/1250sec and ISO 1000, Exposure bias at 0 and Focal Length 260mm and with no flash.” – Pat
To see more of Pat’s work, see his portfolio here.
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