There is a tree by the tour boat landing that the eagles frequent. Sometimes one, sometimes both of the mated pair. I stop by almost every time I visit Magnolia.
One day, I approached to find another photographer, John Nickerson, keeping an eye on the perched male. As we were talking, I heard “eagle talk.” It sounds like this:
We looked up to see the female make a fly-by in front of the male, then circle around in back to land on the same branch the male was on. We wanted to catch her in flight, but the female was now hidden behind a tree to the left of where the male was sitting. We were going to have about two seconds, max, if we were to capture her before she cleared the tree and landed on the branch.
I threw up my camera and hoped for the best. These were taken at 1/500 of a second, f/8. The slower shutter speed was because I was taking shots of the perched bird and wanted to keep the ISO down. When the female showed up, I didn’t react fast enough to bump the shutter speed up. The Nikon D810 is an incredible camera, and it did it’s job.
Good luck, being in the right place at the right time, and great equipment saved the day. I do work hard at being prepared for opportunities like this, but I don’t always get the captures.
The only thing that would have made this better? It was a cloudy day. A blue sky would have been nice. 🙂 Maybe next time!