Taking Photos: Why Be Patient?

When I came upon the eagle I was excited to get a shot, any shot.  It’s a bald eagle.  It’s awesome.  Part of me felt that the first shot was as good as it was going to get–relatively close up, in focus, OK lighting, fine.  There is something odd and interesting about a bald eagle in front of a no smoking sign.   But a shot of a bald eagle perched in front of a no smoking sign–well, I’m not hanging it on my wall.

First Shot:

Bald Eagle

So, I waited.  And I waited.  The bird was pretty content on the piling.  A fresh piece of salmon was at its feet.  After a while the eagle’s feathers ruffled.  Then its head turned to the side.  One leg bent briefly but returned to clutch the salmon.  A few minutes passed.  A breeze blew.  I thought about my time on these islands, Haida Gwaii, and the incredible scenery I had been privy to.  Then, in a rush, the bird flapped its wings and it was off.  Majestic, free, bold, it soared overhead and down the length of the channel, presumably seeking out more salmon.  I rapid-fired a few shots.

Second Shot:

Bald Eagle on Haida Gwaii

This is the result.  The result of being patient.  The result of hoping to get a dramatic shot, envisioning where the bird was going to go, and receiving a little bit of luck from the photography gods in the process.  I’m glad that I waited for this second shot.  This one is going on my wall.


To my surprise, some people prefer the first shot over the second. Which do you prefer?  Put it in the comments.

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