You need to stop.  J, the pups, and I took off early one morning May with our destination the Pinnacles National Park.  Our goal was to see a California Condor on our 6th attempt.  We were going to the east entrance of the Park and were driving down Highway 25 went I saw a large bird perched on a snag behind some conifers.  I don't know how I saw it but when "large bird" registered I started to stop.  A lot of times we keep going, so focused on our end point we forget the journey is just as important.  I backed up, got out of the car after grabbing my binoculars, and looked up at the bird.  Yes, it was large and as soon as I saw that it was a Golden Eagle I went for my camera.  My set up for the day was my D800 with a 300mm f/2.8 lens.  By the time I had my camera ready the Eagle took flight and banked right over me looking down.  I watched the eagle for at least 5 minutes as she slowly gained altitude and then headed south toward the Pinnacles.  We did see a Condor that day although about 1000ft (333m) above us.  So remember to stop and from time to time as you travel: you will be rewarded. 

Featured Photo 24: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) EQ: D800 f/2.8 300mm    Taken: 5-24-15 9:26 Setting: 300mm, 1/2500s, f/5.0, ISO560     Condition: Crystal Clear

Featured Photo 24: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

EQ: D800 f/2.8 300mm    Taken: 5-24-15 9:26

Setting: 300mm, 1/2500s, f/5.0, ISO560     Condition: Crystal Clear

Photographing flying birds is very difficult even more so than when they are moving through the tree canopy, through fields, or along a shoreline.  The important setting is the shutter speed.  When in the field you should try to push up your shutter speed to at least 1/1500s or higher to capture birds in flight.  Soaring birds are easier since they are usually at a distance and move relatively slow compared to a warbler taking flight.  High shutter speed is required to stop the action.

1/2500s, f/5.0, ISO500

1/2500s, f/5.0, ISO500

1/2500s, f/5.0, ISO560

1/2500s, f/5.0, ISO560

Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other questions leave me a message.

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