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03.16.2010

Do you ever wonder how professional photographers make those great looking wildlife images? The truth is that all you really need to get pro results is a telephoto zoom and some professional techniques.  One technique that I often use that will give you great results and is so simple and easy you wont believe it. This doesn’t require any extra special equipment but you will need to be willing to get dirty and sometimes wet as I did to make the image below. When I approach a subject like an eagle one of the first things I do is drop down to ground level to soften the background by making the angle of view almost parallel to the ground.

Bald Eagle, Kachemak Bay Alaska. © 2010 Robert OToole / Robert OToole Photography

NIKON D300S and Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM, Handheld at eye level, 1/1250 sec at F5.6, manual metering, flash off, ISO 400.

This image was made using the technique almost all photographers would probably use looking down at the eagle from eye level. The results here are pretty ugly, the eagle is a little lost against a background of out-of-focus stones on the beach.

Bald Eagle, Kachemak Bay Alaska. © 2010 Robert OToole / Robert OToole Photography

NIKON D300S and Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM, Handheld at ground level, 1/1250 sec at F5.6, manual metering, flash off, ISO 400.

At the exact same position as the first image, I dropped onto the wet ground to shoot at the bird’s eye level. The result almost looks like it was made at a different location. This position is much more successful since the eagle looks much sharper and stands out from the smooth background.

Let me know if there is another nature technique you would like to learn more about in a future blog post. The images here were made during my Bald Eagle workshop series this week in Alaska. If you would like to know more or to join one of my Bald Eagle workshops or to join my free newsletter list please email me at  Robert@RobertOToolePhotography.com

or visit my website: http://www.robertotoolephotography.com

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