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.
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.
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.
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.
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