Silently Hunting – Alaskan Bald Eagle

Akaskan Bald Eagle Flying

Silently Hunting


Bald Eagle Needed @

Today’s photo of the majestic bald eagle I dragged out of mothballs for a quickie remake.  Why would I?  Well, truth be known, I subscribe to the cool free weekly emails from Rob Wood and the people at  In last weekend’s edition I noticed a headline something about a ‘bird throwdown while flying… or not.’  WTF! Intriguing headline… got my attention.

The Throwdown

So it seemed to be a competition. Photographers from around the world were sending in their  shots of birds. They were beautifully crafted images, yet they looked somehow out of place to me.  Why should I expect to find anything other than birds anyway?  Right?  Well I just was holding a completely different vision of what a “bird throwdown while flying” should look like than the images I was seeing. What came into my mind was a photo I took in Alaska while I was on my annual fly fishing trip a few years ago. That thought led me to; “Let me just find that bald eagle photo and toss it into the ring too.”  After thinking about it, I figured that because I’m a landscape photographer, not wildlife, that my vision is not like the vision of a wildlife photographer.  This probably is even more likely specifically for bird photographers.  Gotta hand it to you, I don’t think I could get great close up bird shots if I wanted to.

Story of Today’s Photo

On a day with rain that only a duck could love the salmon fishing was slow and the rain relentless.  My buddy Maurice, his son Martin, and I fish together every year.  They can handle more of it than me.  Especially Maurice, he can fish 24/7 in any weather while playing cards and drinking a fine wine at the same time.  As we all know, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Martin’s grooming is coming right along and it’s destined that he will make a most worthy successor to Maurice when the torch is passed. Beware: For at least one more generation there is no mercy ahead anywhere throughout the realm of all Alaskan fisheries.

While Martin & The Gangster of Love went on fishing merrily away, I got out of the river and slogged myself up to a small shelter where my backpack was staying dry.  Bored at fishing for the moment, I got out my camera and put on a telephoto zoom.  There were eagles here.  Bald eagles are so majestic in the air and instantly my intention was set to  make that photograph. Across the river I spied three eagles, all perched near the tops of the spruce trees.  The deed is sealed; at some point, one of those three bald eagles will be my subject.

The Photo

Confession.  This photo is not the same one I processed years ago.  Lightroom 5 didn’t exist then.  Now that I have the most awesome processing power and creative tools in that one piece of software, I can create much cooler photographs and do it much faster today.  So, like this one, sometimes when I run across an old favorite photo I can’t help but know how much better I can make it now. It usually works out pretty well.

I wonder if that bald eagle had any better luck finding salmon than we did?

Showing 2 comments
  • Nigel McLaughlin

    That’s an amazing HDR photo – the clarity is incredible and you captured the Eagle in flight perfectly! Excellent work.

  • Alaska SEO

    Eagles = Awesome.

    One of the great things about AK is seeing all the wildlife everywhere. I think this last week I woke up to seeing a moose about 3 out of the 7 days.

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