Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

Sometimes there is more to a photograph than meets the eye.  In this case, the photo I am posting is actually three photos.  I shot this Bald Eagle using a bracketed exposure so that I could create an HDR image to show as much detail in the bird as possible:

ISO 800 236mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

ISO 800 236mm 0ev f/5.6 1/1000

I shot this photo as part of a series of ten images, this particular one is also in my Picfair portfolio.  In order to create these images I rented this 70-300mm lens.  Because I knew I was going to want to get a bracketed exposure I made sure to take along my tripod to help me get as still of an image as possible.  I have written about other birds in this series, most recently about a Peregrine Falcon.  For this photo, I wanted to blur out the background almost completely.  I wanted to use the green to contrast with and bring out the color of the beak and eye.

I took this photo at World Bird Sanctuary at a Camera Day that they were hosting.  This was a great opportunity for me to get a photo like this without any of the bird’s enclosure in the background.  The Bald Eagle is also the national bird of the United States, yet has faced a difficult time here in recent history.  While population numbers for this bird are moving in a positive way, there is still the need for some of them to live in sanctuaries.  While I love to see these birds in the wild, sometimes they are injured, brought to sanctuaries, and then unable to live again in the wild.  Eagles like this one I photographed, work to bring awareness to people of how they can help make sure that this birds thrive in the wild.

The theme this week is layers for the photo challenge at WordPress.  So this is my layered post: 1bird, 3 exposures; 1 post, 6 links.  One photograph, but many things to think about about, what do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.



39 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

    • In this case I’m talking about exposure bracketing. I set the exposure that I wanted then there is a setting in my camera that will take the original photo that I asked followed by one with less exposure and one with more. So you have a light image, a regular image, and a dark image. With HDR software, you then combine the three to combine all the detail. Here is a link on bracketing:
      It’s no wonder that eagles are mentioned in the Bible to invoke ideas of beauty and strength.


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  2. kirkistan says:

    Nice shot! I’m curious about your ISO set to 800. That seems high for a daylight shot: can you say a word about that? And that lens! Whoa!


    • Yeah, I got a real kick out of the the lens! The ISO was an interesting puzzle that I had forgotten about until you mentioned it, so thanks for asking. I rented the lens a few days prior to this event just so that I could take time to get familiar with it. When using the higher shutter speeds I really felt that my images at a low ISO were dark, so I bumped up the ISO just to see if it would effect the quality. I was happily surprised that the photos still turned out well. I will say that one thing I really like about my camera is the way it handles noise. As for this image in particular. I think the ISO could have been lower. The light at that moment was fine and the bird is not dark and the background was light as well. Most of the other birds I shot this day the ISO was 200-400. However, my shutter speed for those shots was lower. This eagle did not want to stay still, so I increased the shutter speed by a lot, so I was concerned that if I didn’t increase the ISO, the shots would be too dark. I think you could say I was hedging my bets.


      • Excellent image, very jealous!

        For what it’s worth, when it comes to wildlife the first thing I do is bump up the ISO, usually to 800, regardless of light/time of day. Shutter speed, and capturing a sharp image are far more important to me than a little noise. I don’t care much about noise anyway, it’s so easily dealt with in post. Also, I’m a devout follower of one of Rick Sammon’s “Sammonisms.”

        “If a picture is so boring you notice the noise, you’ve got a boring picture!”

        I’ll take noise over boring every time. 🙂


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  6. This is such a beautiful shot! You put so much thought and effort go into creating this photo – not to mention the patience needed to photograph wildlife. Even though I use a point and shoot, I appreciate learning how you captured the eagle’s picture. I can still use information related to shutter speed and ISO.


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