Happy Christmas Eve to you. I hope you have a joyous Christmas and here’s hoping we all have a prosperous New Year. Yesterday I went out to see if I could find something to shoot. Usually my first place to check is the 16th Street Basin. It is mostly frozen over now and there we at least a hundred geese sitting on the ice. I watched them for a long time and occasionally one would stand up and flap their wings and then snuggle back down on the ice. Doesn’t seem to me to be a comfortable way to spend an afternoon but hey what ever trips their trigger.
The only time the geese would do anything was if I got out of the car. Then they would start doing their slow walk to the other side of the pond. If I got back in my car they would waddle back to their original place.
I decided to go by the river and see if there were any eagles out. Wow, were there eagles out. They were everywhere. Large groups of them sitting on the ice near some open water. Several sitting in the trees on the bluff by Eagle Point Park. I would imagine there were also a lot of them on the other side of the river.
At any given time there would be between 4 to 8 eagles circling the open water just below the dam. Unfortunately at Lock and Dam 10 there isn’t a good view of the water where they fish. You would have to shoot through a fence, which makes getting any kind of a good shot almost impossible. There is always the observation deck but then I am so far from the action that it’s hard to focus on a fast-moving eagle.
It was pretty cold out. My temperature gauge said it was between 18 and 20 degrees with a pretty good wind. I thought about setting up my tripod and in fact did get it out of the car and over to the side of the road but my hands were so cold by the time I got it set up I decided I was done shooting eagles.
I drove over by the Yardarm Marina figuring there would be some gulls if nothing else. I was surprised to see another large group of eagles. Mostly juveniles. In fact of the 30 or more eagles I saw by the Marina only two were mature eagles. I remember how many times I drove by this children’s play area and it would be full of young boys and girls yelling and laughing and now old man Winter has taken over and the kids are gone and the playground is silent.
I had a lot of trouble with my 500 mm lens yesterday. It would stop working like it did so many times last Winter. I had a lot of trouble getting sharp images (but that is more me than the lens.) My friend Andreas has the same lens and he gets great shots so it is a matter of practice and technique.
I had the lens on the Nikon D3S and it would just not produce a picture. The shutter would work fine and I’d rip of 10 – 20 images only to find that I had 10 – 20 black shots with nothing in them. If I twisted the lens a little it would shoot images but then it would stop right in the middle of a series of shots. Very frustrating.
I know Burt, I can hear you saying “buy a decent lens.” I don’t use one enough to justify that kind of money on a Nikon 500 mm lens. They cost more than Nikon’s top of the line camera. If I shot wildlife a lot like Andreas I might give it some thought but it is not a big part of my photography. I would rather capture images of people than of birds.
Well that’s it for today. Enjoy your Christmas Eve. I’m looking forward to spending a little time with my family and eating a lot of good food. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas. God Bless you all. Be careful.