Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve-Fly like an eagle

Olympic Sentry © Kate Lynch
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is such an amazing place. I see something different every time I go. Bald eagles and Canada geese are year-round residents, so I can usually count on at least one encounter. A lot of the bald eagles in the refuge also hang out up on the hill where I live. As a photographer, I usually feel somewhat "underdressed" in the equipment department at the refuge. My largest lens is a 70-300 mm zoom. There are so many 500 mm lenses being hauled around that you would think you were at the Super Bowl, where photographers make money with those things. I always wonder how so many people can afford lenses that can run $1,000-5,000 or more. That's what a good 500 mm lens runs. A Nikon 600 mm lens costs more than $10,000.

When I decide that it would be lucrative to get extreme closeups of animals far far away, I'll invest in a longer lens. Or wait until Nikon partners with Honda and comes out with a big lens that doubles as a motorcycle. To see other images from the refuge, visit my Nisqually Gallery.

Moving On © Kate Lynch
What I lack in equipment, I make up by being quick. I spent about a half hour watching and photographing this bald eagle perched on a snag at the outskirts of the refuge. I decided to head back, slowing to snap yet another image of the great egret that hadn't moved more than a couple of inches. On the way back, I chatted with a young photographer with one of those behemoth lenses.

Lift Off © Kate Lynch
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a very large bird rise into the air. I fired off several shots at what I thought was a heron. I noticed the photographer with the behemoth lens didn't have the camera up to her eye. Instead she was wearing it around her neck like some outlandish accessory (let's call it Very Large Array Necklace). She, too, thought it was a heron. We couldn't figure out where the bald eagle went, which was gone from the snag. It wasn't until I downloaded these images that I saw that I had indeed caught several nice frames of the bald eagle. The other photographer didn't get one. I have a few more images in my Eagles & Hawks gallery. I'm way behind on moving images from the blog to my website. I think that will be my New Year's resolution: update my website.

Eagle Closeup that would be WAY better with a 500mm lens - Kate Lynch

Tomorrow: Great Egret - a rare bird in winter

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