The Bald Eagles Visit West Lafayette Again

I have been out to see the eagles a few times this year, but with limited success. I have seen them, and in the past I would have been firing away with my camera. I have become an eagle snob though, and I only want to see them when they are close enough to really make a good image of them. Today I went out after seeing some fantastic mature eagle shots that were made yesterday. So far this year that shot had eluded me. When I arrived at the Wabash River there was just one eagle in a tree, but it was a very beautiful mature eagle. That eagle made a couple of attempts to catch a fish with no success, but I made some images that I liked. As I was getting colder and wondering how long I would watch an eagle sit in a tree for another beautiful eagle showed up. It moved the first out of the tree, and then made a pass at the water. It grabbed a fairly large fish out of the water, and took off for the tree. The entire sequence took very little time, but it was amazing to see. I made a series of photos of the catch, but the one above was by far my favorite. Today also makes two straight days on this blog with no photos from my quadcopter. I will try and fix that tomorrow for you.

A Little Luck Is Needed

Photographing eagles is a lot like photographing sports. You can be ready with everything set up correctly, but the play has to come your way. In the photo at the top of the page the eagle banked just so after it came out of the water to give me a nice image. I still had to record it, but the eagle did most of the work for me. Sometimes luck is on your side, and I feel that it was yesterday. Just being there when that eagle arrived to catch its dinner was a bit of luck. The previous few attempts this year luck was not really on my side, and I did not come away with much. It all usually balances out though if you keep at it. Here a little patience paid off.

What Are You Listening Too?

Lately while on the road I have been listening to some different podcasts. I have been listening to interviews with artists from other areas other than photography for a change. There are only so many photo podcasts that don’t rehash the same thing so I moved on to what other creative minds are thinking about. It is interesting to hear about the struggles that musicians and actors have. One of my comedy idols is Mel Brooks. At one point in his career he really was low when nobody would listen to any of his ideas. He actually contemplated suicide because he couldn’t express the  ideas that he had in his head. We all know how that story turned out now, but just think about what kind of creative hell he must have been in to consider suicide. I have never been that low, but in this business you can really have people stick it to you. What will keep you successful is how you handle disappointment. Below is a good example of that.

Keep Your Head Up, and Your Chin Down

Last spring I asked to shoot an event for a school that has let me do it before. It was for free just for something for me to do for a couple of days. I was turned down saying that they already had someone taking care of it, and that they didn’t need my images. That hurt bad. I try not to get too low on things, but that was a team I have always wanted to shoot for. Besides my first paid gig I never really got the chance to do it. By not getting too low things turned out well for me. I ended up getting paid to shoot that weekend for Indiana State in the MVC Basketball Tournament in St. Louis. It was a fun week, and it started a great relationship with the school. That relationship led to shooting the MVC Baseball tournament later in the spring which pretty much got me the job the next week shooting the NCAA Baseball Tournament for Xavier. Since that time I have shot many sports for Xavier in a relationship that hopefully will only continue to grow. One disappointment that left me moping around for a couple of days, but many great things came out of it. Listening to these podcasts you hear others talk about similar times when they really felt like they had something to offer, but nobody to give it to. At the end of the day you have to work with those who value you. Those are the relationships that are the most rewarding. The title of this section is something that my father always told me. It has become our way of saying keep at it.

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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

2 responses »

  1. eddieskastle says:

    this is just amazing! birds are beautiful creatures, especially in flight!

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