Bud Ralston  

Osprey Flight by Bud Ralston

May 2022 - Osprey Flight

May 2022 - Bud Ralston


About the Image(s)

Each spring I visit an Osprey nest in the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary in California. Again this year, I wasn’t disappointed. As I left the car, I heard Ospreys shrieking and saw four birds in the air around the nest. I had no time, so I grabbed my camera and ran down to the water. The Osprey were fighting over a stolen catfish. The attacker was put on his back as the defender dove out of the nest and circled back above to reverse their roles. Classic fighter pilot move! The original attacker was driven off and the two Osprey nest residents happily resumed their meal.

Nikon Z9 Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.3-5.6 TC Z 2.0, 400mm (800mm crop factor) 1/2000 sec @f/11,+3EV [from previous day’s shooting “ I know better than that!]

Used the LRC healing brush to remove dust spots. Used Contrast, Shadows, Blacks, and Textures sliders to lighten the birds; Clarity and Dehaze to clear the image overall. Used yellow slider to bring out the Osprey eyes and the fish remnants on its claws. Applied Topaz DeNoise Ai and sharpened the image slightly in Topaz Sharpen Ai.
Cheers, Bud

7 comments posted

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Getting classic action shots like this really enhance image quality. This one with the raised talons really helps to tell the story of the image. The fact that the shutter speed was so high enabled you to stop the fast action. Good thing it was left over from the day before. You might consider selecting the upper bird and increasing the exposure a bit. An osprey's chest is quite bright and it would add some drama to the image to have both combatants equally bright.   Posted: 05/09/2022 12:05:54
Bud Ralston   Bud Ralston
Yes, Obi-wan! You are right. 😉   Posted: 05/09/2022 15:17:01
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Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
May the Nikon force be with you   Posted: 05/13/2022 12:26:11
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David Kepley   David Kepley
Superb action shot!! You've got the birds separated and LOTS of interaction! Suggest you try denoise again. I seem to see lots of noise in the sky.   Posted: 05/13/2022 10:48:46

Richard Matheny   Richard Matheny
Wow Great action shot Bud. That's always a plus in wildlife images. You certainly have a great story line with these guys. There is some kind of a disagreement going for sure. There is some noise you could get rid of but unless you are going to enlarge for showing I don't think it is needed. Really nice capture.   Posted: 05/16/2022 14:01:22

Frank St-Pierre   Frank St-Pierre
Bud: I love shooting Ospreys too and have seen lots of Osprey pics but never a photo with this type of action. Kudos. Curious, with the Z9/Z lens killer combo where you lucky enough to get a burst of shots in a series, or just a singleton?   Posted: 05/16/2022 16:44:17
Bud Ralston   Bud Ralston
I was scrambling because I arrived at the nest just as action began. Having no time to set up my tripod, I fired continual long bursts handheld as the ospreys circled and interacted. I cannot tell you enough how much I am loving the Z9 and all the Z lenses. Fabulous gear!   Posted: 05/16/2022 16:56:24


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