Janice Solomon  

Untitled by Janice Solomon

July 2024 - Untitled

July 2024 - Janice Solomon


About the Image(s)

I took this photo of a bald eagle catching a huge fish at Conowingo Dam in Conowingo, MD, near the border with PA. The dam is known as being one of the few places around where one can often spot bald eagles, especially in winter. I was there to go kayaking but had 5 spare minutes to look for eagles first. I saw a couple photographers and asked them if they'd seen any eagles, and they said they hadn't seen many. Just then, they told me they saw one. I quickly got a few shots and happened to get this eagle pulling a huge fish from the Susquehanna River and then later when it was eating the fish on some rocks surrounded by vultures waiting for leftovers. I didn't have time to increase the speed of my shots. I wasn't ready! As you can see from the original, it was very far away, so I had to crop a lot. I saw the photographers around 45 minutes later, and they said they didn't see any other eagles, so I was incredibly lucky to have seen this! I did see a bald eagle flying while I was kayaking, but I couldn't get a good shot of it, and he was gone in seconds.

1/1600 sec, f/11, ISO 1250, 6/29/2024, increased clarity and reduced noise in Topaz AI Denoise.

2 comments posted

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
(Group 52)
Hi Janice. I'm a visitor from Group 52 that Andrew sometimes invites to comment on nature pictures, particularly birds. I've long wanted to go to Conowingo Dam and will get there one day. I love the subject matter and the size of the fish is impressive. I think you were fast enough from this distance at 1/1600, which is what I would consider relatively slow for birds in flight but the eagle doesn't look like it was flapping fast and I think it was sufficient given this setting. Exposure was tough as I see the whites of the tail a bit overexposed and the shadow areas as dark as they could be. So I think you did a good job given the conditions. I'm not sure of your equipment but you could have used a wider aperture to render the background more out of focus. I see the Great Blue Heron just behind the eagle, and would remove it. If you have enough resolution I think I'd also crop in tighter as there is a lot of foreground and space around the bird making it almost centered. If the resolution is too low, Adobe and Topaz can up the resolution which might be worth a try. You could add a blur layer to smooth out the background, masking out the area you want to keep sharp. One last suggestion would be to add a very slight vignette to help draw attention to the subject. Not so strong as to be noticeable but enough to slightly darken the border areas. Good luck, Mike   Posted: 07/08/2024 05:05:17

Ling Ling Juang   Ling Ling Juang
Hi, Janice,
Congratulations on such a beautiful catch! Splendid angle of the eagle taking flight. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.. I think you are destined for this moment. Haha.
I agree and learned from Mike's comments above. I think cropping and sharpening the bird and fish would render the picture more striking.. I am not sure of removing the heron, it's not that distracting. I kind of think it's neat it's there.

  Posted: 07/09/2024 09:21:18


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