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Thread: Eagles at Conowingo Dam

  1. #1
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Eagles at Conowingo Dam

    Found where the hordes of togs go for their eagle fix (thank you Frankie). Felt so out of place with my punny 70-300mm compared to the monster lenses that were mounted on wimbley style mounts! Where are the eagle pics? Well, they were WAY OUT THERE on the other side of the island. Out of range for my lens. However, I did get a peek at the screens of some of the other cameras on the monster lenses… they got good ones from afar.

    I did play some with the gulls that were closer to shore. These shots, taken RAW, I wanted to see how sharp they would be if I cropped them up real close. Didn't have my tripod with me (a friend borrowed it), but there was no way I could have caught them unless I was panning. Had the IS set to #2. Take a look at these and is there any advice on the sharpness? Could I have done something better on the real close up or is it just past the limit of the camera? I understand IQ on the 70-300 is better in the middle ranges instead of at min/max?

    Thanks for the advice. EXIF info: F/5.6 @ 1/2500 sec, 100 ISO @ 300mm

    Eagles at Conowingo Dam
    IMG_2452 copy by Michael VerVelde Photography, on Flickr

    Eagles at Conowingo Dam
    IMG_2452 copy by Michael VerVelde Photography, on Flickr

    Eagles at Conowingo Dam
    IMG_2455 by Michael VerVelde Photography, on Flickr

  2. #2
    Reynold Mainse's Avatar
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    Re: Eagles at Conowingo Dam

    I think the IQ - image quality looks good. Wow those are impressive lenses those others are using. Regarding the close up... if that is the image at 100% then I think you can eliminate the color and Luminance "Noise" in the image. You can also sharpen the eye with software.
    Maybe try a 16x9 crop.
    great job
    reynold

  3. #3
    Frankie's Avatar
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    Re: Eagles at Conowingo Dam

    You are quite welcome! Glad you were able to make it. Sorry you weren't able to get any good eagle pics. Apparently the best time is when the spillways are open and the fish come out with the water so the eagles fish a lot.

    And YES! That is quite the place for Lens Envy!

  4. #4

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    Re: Eagles at Conowingo Dam

    If you really wanted to shoot those eagles with your 300 , maybe you could get close enough by boat.... A guide would be much more affordable then those setups! ..... or of course, lens rental.com ( I have looked at the big canons, they scare me)

  5. #5
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Eagles at Conowingo Dam

    Or I could go back to Alaska where I was able to get much closer to them! There were actually about 20-25 monster lens set ups along the fence line. Im just glad that my photographic passion does not include needing to buy one of those lenses! Like Frankie said, Ill have to try going back when the spillway is open as it would bring the eagles in much closer.

    Reynold- changed the original crop setting to a 16x9 crop. it was close to 16x9, but the actual 16x9 for some reason looks more pleasing. Eyes work in funny ways. Thanks for the tip.

    A laptop with more memory and PP software is on our christmas list….
    Last edited by Harpo; 2nd December 2011 at 12:07 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Eagles at Conowingo Dam

    Quote Originally Posted by Harpo View Post
    There were actually about 20-25 monster lens set ups along the fence line.
    So, we have 20-25 people all with the same shots. Mmm, think I prefer being out on my own, doing my own thing.

    It's a bit like photographing the British Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace ..... except the eagles are probably ....(Donald, hush your mouth!)

  7. #7

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    Re: Eagles at Conowingo Dam

    Those big lenses are nice, but finding a way to get close , is half the fun. Besides that, those same old close ups, with no background, get old after a while.

  8. #8
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Eagles at Conowingo Dam

    I agree Donald and Steve. This is at the base of a huge hydroelectric dam. Annually in Nov/Dec, they open the spillways to reduce water volume upstream to prepare for the winter accumulation, and thats where the eagles gather to get the fish. There is only one side of the dam (where workers drive in and park) that is accessible to the public. I checked the maps- the other side is a restricted area and the island is something I think you could access by boat- but during the open spillway season, boating is not allowed because of the high flows. I would rather try shots from the top of the dam so there is some background, but its the main roadway and the curb railing is only 1' from the road. The best way I see is to get a kayak out there.

    While it is interesting to see this spectacle, I prefer the more solitary treks and taking landscape images. Crowds drive me nuts. That is what I loved about taking eagle pictures in Alaska.

  9. #9

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    Re: Eagles at Conowingo Dam

    We have eagles ,But they have restricted access to the nesting sites so all my pics are a blue mile away Wish I could go to alaska)

  10. #10
    PBelarge's Avatar
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    Re: Eagles at Conowingo Dam

    I believe you are all confused....that is a radar station...

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