Watching the Bald Eagles Fly Through the Snow

A couple of years ago I was inspired by Mike Heinz shooting for the local paper who made a beautiful photo of a bald eagle in a heavy snow. At the time I did not even know that we had bald eagles so close. I did some research, and eventually saw some eagles down by the Wabash River. That beautiful shot in the paper started it all. A couple of weeks ago when the snow really started to come down I packed up my gear to head down to the river to make the photo that you see above. Focusing on the eagles through the snow is not an easy thing to do, but when you hit it is amazing. The really heavy snow did not last for long, but it was just long enough for me to make the images that I wanted to when I left the house. This year I have been very lucky with catching the eagles at the right time. After a couple of years of really striking out. I think the mild winter has had a lot to do with that. Maybe I will follow the eagles north when the weather breaks to continue to photograph them.

The State of the Newspaper Today

I mentioned that I saw this photo in the local paper, and it inspired me. At that time the local paper had three very good photographers on staff who were all very good at different things. They worked well as a team, and I looked forward to their work. In a short period of time the paper has gotten rid of two of those photographers instead relying on stringers. The quality of the photography has taken a huge hit. I assume that some editors have been let go as well as I have seen a lot of out of focus photos make their way out into the public. When you can easily see that the background is in focus and the subject is not that should be caught and put aside. Instead it makes it out to the public. I love a newspaper. I am one of those who wants to hold the paper to read it. Lately though the public has gone away from that, and the papers have had to scramble to figure out how to stay viable. To me a good photo on the front page is a reason to pick up a paper. I may be a bit biased, but my whole life I have felt this way. Instead of sending your best out to capture the big sectional game the paper now sends a local beginner with a entry level camera to cover the game. I think they know that most of the shots will miss, but if they can get a couple that hit they will be happy. This is a trend that not only applies to newspapers anymore. Sports Illustrated has no editors and no photographers on staff. That makes it hard to publish an illustrated magazine. Where can you go to see the best photography now? The papers are understaffed, and magazines are getting away from staff photographers. Luckily here on campus Purdue has some good photographers that I get to see their work quite often. I also have a few friends online who have similar staff positions within organizations. I think that now you really have to go out of your way to find good photography. The days of having the large staff of photographers for your local paper are now over. Sorry for the long rant, but thinking about how far the local paper here in Lafayette has fallen lately has gotten me quite upset. They had a great team of photographers not too long ago. Now they are down to just one photographer who quite frankly is worked hard enough that he does not have the time to make the photos that we were used to seeing when three worked at the paper. When you see the stringer leave a game before it is over, and the seniors are honored after the game you start to wonder just what they are trying to accomplish.

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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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