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January 16, 2006 by David Perry  
Filed under Behind the Photo, David Perry

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There’s a joke about a photographer using a tripod on a boat. Good luck keeping it steady! But I did make use of a monopod when photographing this bald eagle on Dale Hollow Lake this month. It helped steady the composition when we spotted an eagle perched in a tree.
I was in a covered 5-passenger State Police boat. When someone spotted a bald eagle, I’d go out the front door, stand on a small deck, and train the lens on the bird. The engine would be turned off in the boat. The monopod worked pretty well until the bird started flying. Then I had to use the ‘pod as a grip and try to track it. Luckily, we spotted 8 bald eagles in the 3 hours I was on-board. With the magnification inherent with Nikon digital, the view ended up at about 20x with the rather large lens I was using.

You too can have a chance at photographing these birds at Dale Hollow and elsewhere (See Jan. 16 Herald-Leader City/Region section). It’s pretty expensive to use the rig I used. Now, I haven’t tried it, but you might check out this digital camera/binocular combination by Pentax at I consider this camera as just a toy. However, it might be fun to use if you bird watch, go to Keeneland, photograph your pets, watch your kid play sports, etc. But it won’t yield much of a print past 5 x7 inches. – Dave Perry.

Tech info: Nikon D2H, 500mm f4 autofocus with 1.4x teleconverter (700mm equivalent focal length), 1/1250 sec., f8; white balance: cloudy.

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One Response to “Eagle”
  1. Smitty says:

    Beautiful shot, David. And very steady, too.. I can’t imagine shooting video without a tripod, unless I’m running and gunning off the shoulder!

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