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"A Wonderful Surprise"

Photo Information
Copyright: Linda Unger (shelbeesmom) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4128 W: 1096 N: 12722] (58278)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-11-25
Categories: Nature
Camera: Canon 50D, Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX DG APO, Hoya PL-CIR 77mm
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-11-27 7:03
Viewed: 1213
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
My sister, Dad and I were sitting by the fire, near the lake when we got the surprise of our lives. An immature, American Bald Eagle swooped over to a pine tree, with a baby duck in his mouth and proceeded to sit long enough for me to get some shots. He was about 30 feet up in the air. I wasn't quite sure what we were looking at until I got home and got out my books.

I also posted the photos to Scott Evers and Mike Hodgson (famous TL members) and they confirmed what I had thought. To say that is rare is an understatement. The odds of a bird of this type flying right in front of me, this close to the city is one-in-a-million.
I'm thrilled!

American Bald Eagles get their white feathers between 4 and 5 years old. Their wing spans can be up to 90". For an American, this is a magical sight!

chrisJ, VicZik, brech, parasbhalla, SunToucher, CSP, jean11-3, Teresat has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Linda
WOW you have captured a once in a lifetime chance with the right lens at hand.

My eyes lead me to Eagles claws and eyes both on the same plane and in-focus. The egle is in ta perfect position and framed by the pine branches. Did youhave a reason to keep the maple leafs on the right?

Nice work and TFS

  • Great 
  • rlrad Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 142 W: 8 N: 375] (1374)
  • [2011-11-27 8:26]

How lucky are you, huh?

Nice job, quick thinking, too. You got this youngster really clearly - he must have pulled up fairly close.

I like the performance of that Sigma lens, too - I need a low light zoom so I have been comparing that one to the Nikon. Maybe I won't have to save quite as much money!

But anyway, nice job!


I think this capture could not be better, as the focus and sharpness you have achieved on the eagle, dear Linda B-)

The colors are natural and focus on the eyes of this bird is well kept.
The sharpness and POV are nicely done, and a good DOF is maintained throughout the scene.

Have a nice Sunday!

Best wishes,

Hi Linda,
That surely is a surpise. Glad you had you camera with you and the right lens as well. It certainly aint the best bird short, but having a photo of such a moment is much more important.
Good to read that Scott confirmed the ID, at such young age they can be mistaken with Golden Eagles.

Hello Linda,

congratulations for this shot! Interesting lighting effect that gives adequate sharpness on the eye and claws. Nice clear view from this perspective with the branches surrounding the eagle.

- Jan

  • Great 
  • CSP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 0 N: 69] (145)
  • [2011-11-27 12:01]

Great capture of the eagle in such a rare sight.
Clarity and detail is sharp and colors blend good as well.


  • Great 
  • mbrito Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1929 W: 117 N: 3017] (13240)
  • [2011-11-27 13:01]

Ola Linda
Wonderful eagle in her natural environment, perfectly captured from a low perspective, with an excellent sharpness, a great light, and a very clear perspective.
Boa noite, mb

Despite the adverse light conditions, details and colours of this great bird are excellent Linda, it must have been your lucky day to get an opportunity to photograph this beauty, thanks.


  • Great 
  • werdir Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1416 W: 147 N: 2654] (11957)
  • [2011-11-27 17:29]

Great catch Linda, they're awesome birds to watch. It's difficult to shoot up against the sky like this, unless it's clear blue. The vignetting you added masks it well. Nice detail, especially in the claws. You've positioned it well, looking back into the shot.


Hi Linda, a wonderful shot with a great PoV looking up to this most imposing bird.Its' talons and its' beak look very dangerous!
You have captured some lovely detail, even to the catch light in its eye.
The green foliage in the bg is the perfect complement to the brown plumage.
What a lucky day for you!
Tfs, regards Jean.

Olá Linda
It is Impressive ...and your perspective make it more.I can feel its power...
Um abraço

  • Great 
  • chrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4430 W: 637 N: 9632] (55124)
  • [2011-11-30 7:49]

Hi Linda

Right place, Right Time! It's great when that happens! Nice upward pov, superb sharpness, graphism, & shadow detail. Love the glint in the eye too. Tfs!

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