It's in my blood.
Since I was given my first camera, when I was a little kid, I have always been fascinated by capturing in a shot what my eyes were seeing around me. The beauty of nature or the smile of a friend, an event or an emotion... Precious pearls to be framed in a photo. Whether freezing a movement or moving the stillness, looking at normality through a different angle or portraying the exceptional, I can choose different perspectives, I can catch reality. I think this passion is in my blood, I inherited it from my Grandpa and then from my Dad, and it has always had a great influence in my life. Come and follow me in my journey searching impressions of life.



Friday, December 5, 2014

Searching for the Golden Eagle – Day 2

After a few hours of sleep, we woke up this morning excited for the first "real" day of the eagle adventure. We meet at 5:30am for breakfast to be ready to leave at 6:00am. It's still dark and it's important to arrive on the site before the morning light, not to be seen by the birds that might be controlling their territory.

Valerio and I have to manage with what we have in our carry-ons, since our luggage didn't come in, yesterday. Luckily Sabrina got hers. The weather is not great but not too bad either and we get onto Conny's truck to head to the hide. After leaving the car, a short walk brings us to a marsh area, now covered in a white icy-frosty layer and there we'll wait for the eagles.

We receive Conny's last instructions on how to "behave" and after setting all the camera equipment, we just sit waiting for the dawn, half sleeping, half thinking at what to expect from the day.
Today (and for the rest of the stay) with us is awesome British photographer Ally Hensen. She's been photographing the Siberian jay in the past couple of days and she is now turning her attention to the eagles. This is not the first time she's been here and she hopes for more good pictures from this trip.


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM f/5.6 1/160sec ISO 1600


             EOS 5D Mark II – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM f/5.6 1/200sec ISO 1250 +0.33


Soon the tits start making us hear their voices, as they approach: Great tit, Willow tit, Blue tit come to look for food. As soon as the light is enough, we start concentrating on these little birds while waiting for the eagles. Not only tits, but also a squirrel stops by, as well as a European jay and woodpeckers. In particular Great spotted woodpeckers and a species I had never seen before, the Grey-headed woodpecker. The latter is very elegant and I try to take a good picture since it's my first. It is still pretty dark, though and I need to push the ISO quite a bit... I am afraid a lot of noise will result because of that.



             EOS 5D Mark II – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM f/5.6 1/20sec ISO 800 -0.33


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM f/5.6 1/200sec ISO 1600


Hours pass by, and light is better now. A Bullfinch comes too, it's beautiful and against the white backdrop it really reminds me of a Christmas postcard. The Great spotted woodpecker keeps coming to pounder the perch to get food and though we have seen it many times, it's always a pleasure to admire this bird. Unfortunately we can't keep very fast shutter speeds, and any attempts to take photos in flight results in something blurry.


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM f/5.6 1/100sec ISO 1250 +1


             EOS 5D Mark II – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM f/5.6 1/125sec ISO 1600 +0.67


             EOS 5D Mark II – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM f/5.6 1/160sec ISO 1250

But suuddenly, here it is! Not a Golden eagle, but a White-tail eagle lands on a tree nearby. We can only see the silhouette against the sky: it's really huge, even from that distance. We hope it can get closer and in better light, but our hopes are invain since the eagle flys away after some time, not to return.


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM  @47mm f/5.0 1/200sec ISO 640


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 200-400 mm f/4L IS USM EXT @526 mm f/8.0 1/125sec ISO 1000


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM  f/5.6 @526mm 1/200sec ISO 1250


             EOS 5D Mark II – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM f/5.6 1/250sec ISO 2000 +0.33


No more eagles for the rest of the day... We spend the time photographing the other birds. The European jay particularly attracts our attention because it's darker than the specimen we have in Italy, and it's very nice.


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM f/5.6 1/125sec ISO 2000

The sun is setting and our second day is going to be over soon. The clouds leave room to a wonderful sunset and we enjoy it with admiration and of course we do not miss to take some shots.


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM f/4.5 1/160sec ISO 1000 +1.33


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @58mm f/4.5 1/160sec ISO 1000 +1.33

Once the light is down, we silently retrieve all the equipment and store it back in our backpacks, and then we wait till is dark enough to leave and head back to the truck.

The day didn't go exactly as we expected. Yes we did se an eagle but couldn't take a single shot of it. We all look at tomorrow as another chance, with the hope of a more successful outcome.

And after dinner, we are out again for some night photography. We ask Conny if it's possible to find an interesting spot with some elements that can enrich the scene and he suggests we go up to the mountain where the old watching tower is. We walk up for fifteen minutes in a wonderful wood, completely frozen in sparkling silver dust.
You should know that Conny is rather tall, 1.90 meters, and it's not easy to keep up with him when he walks, even when he "walks slowly".

Once at the top, we take some shots of the horizon, building the scene with the pine trees and keeping in the foreground a cabin where Conny lit some candles and a fire in the stove. The Northern Light is very moderate, less than yesterday, but it still gives us a nice green light in the background.


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM@17mm f/4.0 30sec ISO3200 - tripod


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM@17mm f/6.3 30sec ISO5000 - tripod


             EOS 5D Mark III – Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM@17mm f/6.3 30sec ISO5000 - tripod









2 comments:

  1. very nice images...
    congratulations.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Serkan. I like your photography, very nice.

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