This is a picture of African Fish Eagle taken at the Hawk Conservancy nr Andover in Hampshire. I go here a lot to practise on birds in flight so that I’m prepared (hopefully) when I am in the wild.
Because I am so close to the bird and using a longish focal length of 500mm, the depth of field is quite shallow. It does give a nice smooth background though. It is vital in shots like this to have the eye in focus (the near eye if two are visible but it is not possible to get them both in focus). The other problem I get with this bird sometimes is the contrast in bright sunshine can blow the white feathers on top of the head but in this one I have been lucky with that. It was in full sunshine (you can see the hard shadow on the side of the head) but there was enough reflected light to lift the shadows under the wings.
The hard part of this shot was tracking the bird. It is very big in the frame so there is not much scope for wobble. In this frame I have cropped the bottom to make the image aspect wider but the edges and top are untouched.
Kit: Canon EOS 1DIV EF 500 f/4.5 @ 1/3200s ISO 400
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