Redtail hawk

Redtail hawk
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2 Comments | Report
Blue-Maddness PRO+
Blue-Maddness December 12, 2014
Stunning Capture!
brettmaniscalco December 12, 2014
Thank you very much!
Bannekh November 17, 2015
Great Shot
brettmaniscalco December 18, 2016
Thank you!

Behind The Lens

New Buffalo, MI
A couple hours before sunset.
The lighting was difficult, it was near dusk and I did not grab my tripod. The lens was not a fast one either. I used a branch to brace for the shot, I was on the ground about 3' from this hawk.
Sony a100 with a Minolta AF 28-135
I heard screaming and looked out the window. A hawk was wrestling with a rabbit on the ground next to the huge pine tree in my back yard. I quickly grabbed my camera and went out through the siding glass door to try to get a shot. At this point the rabbit was clutched tightly in the hawk's talons, but was now still. The hawk tried to fly, but couldn't, so did a series of flying leaps into the nearby trees and I quickly followed. I slowly approached, shooting the whole time and eventually got very close (approx. 3') and sat down next to this young Redtailed Hawk. I did not have my tripod and it was fairly low light, so I used a branch to brace the camera for the shot. I manually focused and most of the shots were blurred as the hawk quickly ate, but this one really stood out and was in focus. The hawk would spread it's wings while opening it's beak whenever I moved, intimidating to say the least, but otherwise seemed quite content to finish it's meal with me there close by. It was an experience I will never forget, even if I didn't have this shot to remind me.
Because of the low lighting, I adjusted (corrected) contrast and color slightly. The eyes really are the subject here, and I sharpened them a bit.
In my camera bag
I usually have a range of ND filters, and two lenses - Minolta AF 17-35 and an original Minolta AF 70-300.
Patience and luck. Also knowing your equipment very well, you rarely get a second chance at some shots.

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