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Friday, November 2, 2012

Bald Eagles - Mediocrity and my Discontent

Two more months left to this "1 post a day" blog entry idea. It was a blast, trying to keep up with the photography related posts as well as showcasing my photos. However, this 365/366 (on leap-year) post tallying is too much of a pace to keep up with. As of 2013, I will be going back to a relatively sedate pace of about 160 posts an year depending on what subjects I find and putting content quality over quantity.

Next year I hope to be able to make it to the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival or sometime before then to avoid the crowds. Hopefully with just a 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, I will be able to take a decent set of shots. But it won't be the last time that I go up to Harrison Mills. I intend to take advantage of the multitude of wildlife opportunitites out there, photograph trumpeter swans, bears etc. According to Hancock Wildlife, thousands of bald eagles use Harrison Mills as a winter nesting spot. This spot is probably one of the best locations outside of Homer, Alaska to see bald eagles up close and personal. And since I intend to stay in Canada and enjoy the locations offered by our beautiful country to shoot in, Harrison Mills will become my main go-to site to increase my porfolio of eagle images, right now which numbers in saleable images with a great big "gooseegg" - zero, nada. I have several images (shot between 2006 (when I started shooting seriously to improve my craft rather than snapshots) and present) right now that don't particularly impress me.

As you can see, I have a selection of bald eagle images, however they aren't the slightest bit impressive as far as I'm concerned. Photographers are known to push their boundaries and I'm no different. I'm not satisfied with the shots that I have now, and am looking for ways to improve my shots. But limitations are there with the range of my current equipment and having to save up for the big supertelephoto and teleconverters that I need to in order to bring the subject in closer to my lens. "Never be satisfied with mediocre" has always been my motto and it seems to other people that I am always finding some bone to pick with my images. That's probably the reason why I only have around 36 images in my 500px account in over 6 years of serious concentrated shooting. I know my limitations of my equipment in terms of getting in close and the environment plays a factor as well. I know that I need teleconverters on my 70-200mm as well as the acquisition of the 600mm f/4 to get the shots I want. Hopefully I will have that equipment inside of 3 and a half years and that's a goal that I'm saving towards.

Harrison Mills is a location that I want to make a permanent shooting location. The opportunity for eagle shots is almost a certainty every November through December. I hope to be able to see osprey there as well taking advantage of the fall salmon runs when the salmon come up to spawn. The bald eagle and the osprey are two of my favorite raptors and both are on my list of birds to photograph. I hope one day that I'll be able to nail that perfect shot of the bald eagle. And I know I'll keep striving for that shot even before I've saved up entirely for that Nikon AF-S VR 600mm f/4 supertelephoto lens.

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