The Eagle-Over-the-Mountain Photo Contest « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Eagle-Over-the-Mountain Photo Contest

What’s Up?

Bald Eagle photography for the first three days of the Homer/Kachemak Bay IPT was non-stop spectacular. Day four, Wednesday 23 February was so-so. We had no wind and with the continuing warm weather, the birds were not very hungry. Anita North is leaving a day early (today) to get back to Canada. On March 2nd she is flying to Churchill, Manitoba to photograph Polar Bears for three weeks at Wat’chee Lodge adjacent to Wapusk National Park about 40 miles south of town. The average temperature is about -45° Centigrade (-49 Fahrenheit). Plus the wind chill. We wish her luck.

Please be sure to enlarge each image and then leave a comment letting us know which is the winning entry.

Today is Thursday February 24. The forecast is for rain in the morning with some clearing in mid-morning. The good news is that they have predicted rain almost everyday and we have not seen a single drop yet. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day.

This blog post took about an hour to prepare, and makes 1 day in a row with a new one.

Please remember to use the B&H and Amazon links on this page and to use the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout when purchasing your new gear from Bedfords. And please consider joining a BAA IPT.

Please Remember

You can find some great photo accessories (and necessities, like surf booties!) on Amazon by clicking on the Stuff tab on the orange/yellow menu bar above. On a related note, it would be extremely helpful if blog-folks who, like me, spend too much money on Amazon, would get in the habit of clicking on the Amazon logo link on the right side of each blog post when they shop online. As you might expect, doing so will not cost you a single penny, but would be appreciated tremendously by yours truly. And doing so works seamlessly with your Amazon Prime account.

Please remember that if an item — a Delkin flash card, or a tripod head — for example, that is available from B&H and/or Bedfords, is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great, and greatly appreciated, if you would opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to earn 3% cash back at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout for your major gear purchases. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And always earns my great appreciation.

Brand New and As-Good-As-Ever Bedfords BAA Discount Policy

Folks who have fallen in love with Bedfords can now use the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout to enjoy a post-purchase, 3% off-statement credit (excluding taxes and shipping charges) on orders paid with a credit card. The 3% credit will be refunded to the card you used for your purchase. Be sure, also, to check the box for free shipping to enjoy free Second Day Air Fed-Ex. This offer does not apply to purchases of Classes, Gift Cards, or to any prior purchases.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would like to enjoy getting 3% back on your credit card along with free 2nd Day Air Fed-Ex Air shipping, your best bet is to click here, place an order with Bedfords, and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If an item is out of stock, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592 (Central time). Be sure to mention the BIRDSASART coupon code and check the box for Free Shipping. That will automatically upgrade to free 2nd Day Air Fed-Ex. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The waitlists at the big stores can be a year or longer for the hard to get items. Steve will surely get you your gear long before that. For the past year, he has been helping BAA Blog folks get their hands on items like the SONY a 1, the SONY 200-600 G OSS lens, the Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 100-500mm lens, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is personable, helpful, and eager to please.

Important Note

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small percentage when you purchase from Amazon after using any of the Amazon links on the blog (including the logo-link immediately above). My link works with Amazon Prime and using it will not cost you a single cent. Huge thanks, BTW 🙂

Please Remember Also

Please, if you enjoy and learn from the blog, remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so just might make it possible for me to avoid having to try to get a job as a Walmart greeter and will not cost you a single penny more. And if you use Bedfords and remember to enter the BIRDSASART code at checkout, you will (still!) save 3% on every order and enjoy free second-day air shipping. In these crazy times — I lost about fifty thousand dollars in income due to COVID 19 — remembering to use my B&H link or to shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes, are invited to help out by clicking here to leave a blog thank you gift if they see fit.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. If you are desperate, you can try me on my cell at 863-221-2372. Please leave a message and shoot me a text if I do not pick up.

This image was created on 20 February 2022, the first day of the Homer/Kachemak Bay Bald Eagle IPT. I used the hand held Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens with the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter (at 280mm) and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera.. The exposure was determined via Zebras. ISO 1600. 1/1600 second at f/4 (wide open). AWB at 4:38.23pm on a then-cloudy bright afternoon.

Tracking: Zone AF/C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed perfectly. Click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #1: Bald Eagle over mountain I

The Eagle-Over-the-Mountain Shot

From previous experience, I knew where we had to be to try for the eagle-over-the-mountain shot. The afternoon began sunny and then some light clouds took over — perfect for what I wanted. As there were lots of great photo opps, most folks stuck with run-of-the-mill flight shooting. Don’t get me wrong, the can result in some spectacular flight poses including banking and up-side down birds. I paid some attention to the eagle-over-the-mountain shot, but Anita North, who had seen some of my efforts from previous years, tried exclusively to create a good one. When she would show my an image, I would give her a Larry David-like, “Nah …, I don’t think so.” She kept at it for more than an hour. Finally she showed me one and I said, “That looks pretty good.”

One of today’s images is Anita’s, and one is mine.

This image was created on 20 February 2022, the first day of the Homer/Kachemak Bay Bald Eagle IPT. I used the hand held Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens with the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter (at 280mm) and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera.. The exposure was determined via Zebras. ISO 1600. 1/2500 second at f/4 (wide open). AWB at 4:35:37pm on a then-cloudy bright afternoon.

Tracking: Zone AF/C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed perfectly. Click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #2: Bald Eagle over mountain II

The Eagle-Over-the-Mountain Photo Contest

Each of us thinks that our image is the strongest. We need your help. Your job for today is to identify the stronger of two images. Please leave a comment letting us know which you feel is the stronger image, and let us know why you made your choice. Ties are allowed.

If you want to make a guess as to which image is mine and which one is Anita’s, go for it. I would be very proud of either image.


With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

17 comments to The Eagle-Over-the-Mountain Photo Contest

  • I really like image #1, with the flared primaries, determined hunting posture, and extreme sharpness.

  • avatar Anthony Ardito

    I like image #1 better. Shows speed, menacing look in the eyes, and just spectacular sharpness. #2 is great too, but lacks action…seems to be hovering waiting for something. BPN probably wouldn’t like #1 for the wing position, but looks great for me.

  • Both are excellent. My eye is drawn a bit away from the bird towards the shadow in # 2 so I will go with #1 as my favorite.

  • Hey Artie, image #2 for me. I think the wing and tail position is better and the gaze at the viewing captures my attention. Thank you for sharing.

  • avatar Jeff Walters

    I like ’em both. But #2 a little more as the eagle was checking out Anita as he passed over the mountain!

  • avatar Richard Curtin

    Would pick 1 personally. Like the head angle. Would guess 1 is yours. Any repair work on the wing tip feathers? Both really nice.

  • avatar Dietmar Haenchen

    Both images are excellent. I like #1 better because the bird is larger in the frame and the bird looks into the direction of the turn. I also like the diagonal position.

  • avatar Neil Hickman

    Image 2 captures “Over the Mountain” best. I also think the pose is more unusual and better tail and feet. I believe I have seen many poses similar to number one (without the mountain!). Both classics for me. I’d just like to see one some day.

  • avatar Paul Smith

    I prefer #1 which I think is yours. BTW, I visited the Stick Marsh this morning. There were lots of birds and lots of activity. The construction work didn’t seem to bother the spoonbills at all! They are up to their usual magic.

  • avatar Kathy Graff

    #1 is my favorite. In #2, I think the eagle is looking down scanning for prey, and that downward glance just isn’t as interesting to me. Plus I concur with a lot of what Chris L and Elinor O said.

  • #1 is yours! They are both outstanding but my favorite is #1 because the wings are in a powerful flight turn. #2 is wonderful with both eyes visible but looks like the flaps are down for landing.
    I would be ecstatic with either of those images!

  • avatar Gary Meyer

    I like number two .. like the eagle looking right at the camera …

  • avatar J Marr Miller

    Right, tough call, but I’ll go with #1 because of the wings at a diagonal. The mountain shadow doesn’t bother me in either shot. I think I’d get tired of seeing the bird looking at me all the time in #2.

  • #1 for me. I like the delicate fingered wing tips, the fully spread wings, the diagonal of the wings matching the mountain, wing diagonal going across almost the whole frame showing gorgeous flight.
    In #2 I don’t like the tail being nearly lost because of intersecting with the mountains.

  • I think #1 and #2 are both good, but my favorite is #2 because of seeing each eye and two feet!!

  • I think image #2 is the stronger image. Having viewed and made many eagle photos, I think the position that was captured in that image was the most unusual and appealing.

  • avatar Chris L

    Hard choice. I really like the eye contact and underside wing detail in #II but I find the blue circle under the eagle a bit too distracting. I’d choose #I, as I prefer the closer/more prominent position of the bird in the frame and the diagonal wing position matches the mountain in the background, plus the blue spot in the background, is way off to the left and did not catch my eye.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>