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Old May 11th, 2011, 08:38 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lyons, Colorado
Posts: 1,200
Bald Eagles take 2!

Hi everyone:

Joy all around! Remember in this past "Tales" I mentioned that I had heard about a nesting Bald Eagle pair not far from where I lived, I set off to go find it and I reported that I just didn't have the equipment to get the kind of footage to "write home about"?

SO! I rented some equipment last week and went back. This footage is shot with a Canon 7D with a 500 mm lens. Swoon, swoon :) I don't know which I'm in love with more, the equipment or the Bald Eagles! O.K. there is nothing spontaneous with this kind of setup and it really took some getting used to. I think with more practice I could get better. But attempting to track an Eagle in flight was like wielding a canon (no pun intended).

I have confirmed there are 3 babies, but in this short clip you really only see 2. This nest is over a football field away!! There was no way for my own equipment to capture this. It didn't even do well on the adult male roosting much closer to me.

This clip is 90 sec and is raw footage of the adult with the eaglets. Serendipity had it where I was just barely set up when the adult flew in with a catch :)

I have also worked in the adults into the final segment of the feature film I have been working on for the past few years. This segment called "Jill's Doxology" is now ~2.5 minutes long and includes the long hoped for Bald Eagles!

Pile on everyone! :)

Catherine Russell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2011, 08:51 AM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 3,004
Re: Bald Eagles take 2!


Coming along very nicely, to be sure! I love the tune by the way!

Curiously, with the ealgle in the tree and the soaring eagle underlay/overlay, did you use a secondary color corrector to darken the eagle so you could then lighten the blue and reduce the opacity so it can still came through reasonably? Or did you use some other technique? Would be interested to know. Very nicely done.

Is the focus slightly soft or is it the compression/res for the web. It doesn't look bad and I thought perhaps you softened the image on purpose.

Keep at it!!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old May 11th, 2011, 05:51 PM   #3
Major Player
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Black Mountain, NC
Posts: 488
Re: Bald Eagles take 2!

That was definitely worth the rental! Great footage.

I had watched Jill's Doxology a while back and though it was really good, the eagles have definitely added a lot. It is a whole new dimension to the video. Just the right combination of eagles and Jill.
Ruth Happel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2011, 10:36 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lyons, Colorado
Posts: 1,200
Re: Bald Eagles take 2!

Hi Ruth and Dale:

Thanks for the watch! I agree Ruth, the eagles add a lot to the "Doxology" footage. I'm thrilled you enjoyed this, I like it too.

Dale, your comments about the intro to the Doxology piece made me look at it again and I tweaked it a bit! The soft focus in the soaring eagle is due to both, high compression for the internet AND my raw footage. In the redo, I've also upped the resolution a bit and it's better than before. I didn't color correct for the effect, just a simple mask to "open up" the roosting eagle to show him a bit more clearly. If you want details, fire me an e-mail. The soaring eagle footage happened completely unexpectedly as I was setting up for taking video of the nest when instantly the eagle was up in the air! All I could do was go for it, not knowing if I had any focus or not. It was the first time at wielding the 500 mm lens which was really a "thrill" trying to follow a bird in flight with a single focus telephoto lens. This is why sometimes the eagle is crystal clear and other times is not. Not great, but it sure was fun to try, and oh how beautiful these birds are!

Besides the "Doxology" footage, it's the nest and the eaglets I'm excited about. I've replaced the first 90 sec clip with a 2 min clip that adds more with mom feeding the birds and the 3 babies in the nest on their own. This clip is also redone at higher resolution so it's sharper than the first. Apologies in advance for the shaky footage the last 20 sec showing the 3 babies on their own. What can I say, really different equipment and very little time to get used to it :)

I so hope you enjoy the birds in and of themselves. I'm struck by how tender the parental care is for these babies. They are in love, parents and babies alike!

Catherine Russell is offline   Reply

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