A couple days back the sun made one of it’s rather rare appearances so far this year, so I grabbed my camera and headed out to the Seawall to see what I could see (sort of like that bear who went over the mountain). I had just gotten down by the water and started to snap a few shots when the tiniest bit of very fast movement approaching my location caused me to take a look almost straight up. For a brief moment I was blinded by the brilliance of the noon-day sun, and even as my vision cleared, it took me several minutes to find what it was that had caused me to look up in the first place. The reason for the difficulty was that I just wasn’t looking high enough, or far enough away from where I was standing. Once I did locate what I was looking for, I immediately wished I had the resources to change the first number in my only long lens’ description from a 2, into a 4 or a 5. However, like always, I just set out to do my best with the tools at hand.
When I managed to identify my would-be multiple targets -the height they were flying at made this a trick in itself- I realized I was watching not just 1 or 2, but 4 Bald Eagles engaged in what looked like a very high-speed game of tag with a much larger flock of Seagulls. I refer to it as a “game of tag” rather than “a hunt” since the Seagulls weren’t making any obvious attempt to get away, but rather, were diving in and out at the Eagles just as much as the Eagles were doing the same to them. It would have been a photographer’s dream except they were so high, and at such a distance across False Creek from where I was standing, that it was all I could do to even see them without the added benefit of my 200mm lens, and only when their antics brought them into range for a moment, before they would scoot back out again at speeds that appeared to rival some early aircraft. Let me show you one picture here just to give you an idea of what I mean, and like the small inset in the larger picture points out, that’s what they looked like to me with my equipment stretched to it’s maximum capacity. Without the benefit of the lens, all I could see was two little dots in the sky, and the larger picture that you are seeing is the result of using my computer to blow up that little inset picture as much as possible before it just becomes too blurry to be worthwhile.
So I ended up spending over an hour watching these guys, all the time hoping that as they played, or whatever it was they were doing, they might eventually drift over my way, at which time I would be able to get some better images. As it turned out unfortunately, they did drift, but in the opposite direction, and the only shots I got were a few when they came just into the edge of my shooting range before drifting back out. But like my Father always used to tell me, “Someday’s Brian, you’re the windshield, and on other days, you’re the bug!” I couldn’t even get any decent pictures of the Seagulls the Eagles were playing with, because at that distance, and in the sunlight, their lighter color just tends to blur out. I did, however, find a few young Seagulls down by where I was shooting from, and since I’ve always liked the young Seagull’s plumage more than the adults, I thought I would include a few pictures of them in the gallery. Here’s one just to get you started.
And now for the rest of the gallery. As for the Eagle shots I did get, sorry that they’re not the best, but I’ll keep trying and one day all those little factors will come together and presto, “Thar she’ll be Billy!” Who knows, I could be walking down the street someday when a 500mm lens will fall out of the sky, hitting me in the head, and not only allowing for some great future pictures, but inspiring a book called “The Gods Must Be Crazy”. Oh wait…