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Photo Information
Copyright: Callie de Wet (Callie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-12-07
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma 120-300 F2.8
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): African Raptors, 40-49 Points (Chapter 2), Birds in Flight [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-05 6:16
Viewed: 9143
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Nailing a bird on the wing stays one of my top wish-list ideals! I have been partially successful in the past, but there is always just some niggling little thing here or there in the picture that tells me to go, try again. Just ask Gert & his flying dinner ducks how difficult it is to catch everything just right! Now, trying to shoot flying birds as big as eagles or storks at 50 m or more away is really tricky! First – you have to find one to shoot.
I waited more than an hour & a half to get this picture. Maybe I should rephrase it – to nail this guy on the wing in any position. At Nossob Rest Camp, there is a lovely big hide, just outside the camp fence, & one can walk from the gate on an enclosed boardwalk to the hide. The hide overlooks two watering pans, the nearer one maybe 30-40 m from the hide, the further one close to 100+ meters. At the far side of this second water hole, there is a dead tree, a deadfall, I think it is called. This guy came in earlier in the afternoon for a drink, & settled on this tree – very far, but he is a big fellow, so I thought that just maybe I might get lucky today.
Anyway, no sooner has he left his post, or a secretary bird also approached, nearly causing an altercation between these two raptors. I have the picture, but was concentrating on the eagle, so only saw the half secretary bird after the fly-up thread. Just then, a heard of blue wildebeest came along, & chased him off. I was content shooting some interesting wildebeest interactions for quite some time.
This was when Mr Tawny here came back & settled in the dead tree. There he remained “planted” or glued, preening, spying out the area, everything but fly off! Eventually, long after the last blue wildebeest had departed, he flew down for his drink. I got some pictures on the wing, then packed up to leave; just then it struck me that he has to fly off too, so I immediately settled back in with Big Bertha. I think I shot maybe 100 pictures of him that afternoon, some 10 or so in-flight, because he obliged in flying some short distances along the waterhole.
This is maybe my best catch, & it whetted my appetite for a 600 mm F4! I was shooting at around F5.6 to F8, at over 100 m, at a flying bird while I was not sure when he would be taking off. So, enjoy him with me. The shooting details are at home. I will later post more picture of & info on the Tawny Eagle, This note being already too long!

Lesley, red45, Fisher, Luc, bartove, Robbrown, carper, mumek, pompey, sandpiper2, rlortie, milloup, Lourens, extramundi, jhm, sAner, radz, Meshersmith has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To sAner: DankieCallie 1 02-27 14:44
To Lesley: SHOOTING DETAILSCallie 2 01-05 16:49
To Fisher: lensCallie 3 01-05 15:12
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Critiques [Translate]

Persistance pays off no doubt Callie.
Be proud, be thankful, you have a wonderful shot. He is a beautiful specimen. Great work and thanks for the very interesting story about how you got the shot. I envy your very professional skills. I suppose the harder you practise, the better it gets.

This is a great flight-in Callie.
Panning with Big Bertha! I take my hat off.;-)
Very good composition , I like the diagonal , very good details and colours, and a great note too.
Excellent work my friend.

Very nice capture, Callie. There is nothing more spectacular than a large graceful raptor in flight. I would be interested to know what shutter speed you used at f/8. Thanks.

Il s'envol, et toi tu à pris une superbe prise, ses ailes de couleur or sur le fond vert avantage cet oiseau qui est dejas très beau.

With such lively note, you really make us participate to this shot, and it's a great one, again. Fully stretched, wings and paws, in the effort of taking off is taken just the right moment. Beautiful shot, Callie, well framed and sharp despite the distance and the difficulty to get everything right on the spot.

The art of waiting and patience. This is my favorite thing to do, waiting for the momment. Callie, I enjoy viewing pics like this. The angle taken is like my duck. Corner to corner. 600mm at F4 impressive. Fast lens.
Well done on the shoot. Hope to see more like this.


Composition: ****
Sharpness: ****
Color: ****
DOF: ****
POV: ****

600mm that's impresive, great shot a rare one.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-01-05 9:20]

What a detailed and interesting history, Callie! On an image also interesting and detailed!
This passion which animates you is contagious and stimulates me.
A great post, not only by the image and by the note, but also by the spirit behind them.

What a moment to capture, colour and detail well seen. Nice shot! A very sharp capture of this Eagle.
Well done.

Simple put this is a good capture and looks good too.
the note I found intresting and shows how time consuming getting even a passable shot onto the card/film, and to get a superb one well that is the icing on the cake.
Keep them coming Callie.

  • Great 
  • mumek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 104 W: 0 N: 180] (853)
  • [2005-01-05 16:36]

Super capture.Very nice composition, very good colors and details.The note as usual very interesting.

  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2005-01-05 17:23]

Long note indeed Callie, but it had me enthralled, for a moment I was there with you. I also wish to catch a great picture, on the wing.
Back to the picture, great shot, great note, well done.

You've done a fine job in capturing this guy in flight, a very difficult thing to do, even with your skill.

  • Great 
  • edji Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 83 W: 8 N: 22] (426)
  • [2005-01-05 19:13]

Great shot. Composition is great and lighting too.

This is just great Callie. Your note is also very interesting. Good to know that patience pays off. The entire shadow of the bird, the layers of color in the BG are fantastic. Please post more of this magnificent bird.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-01-06 3:13]

Someone once told me that the best zoom is ones feet :) This will save you a lot of money and put a smile on Pieta's face.

Like I mentioned before I absolutely love this shot! The composition is great and so is the sharpness.

My problem with waiting this long is that I fall asleep behind the lens - It has happened before and when I wake up, there are all different animals in front of the lens :)


  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-01-06 4:11]

Fabulous shot Callie. Great colours composition with brown predator with yellow legs and african green/brown BG. Pose is superb.

Sorry but points tomorrow.

Fantastic capture Callie,
Good balanced shot, good pof and dof and exelent details and colours, the shot is fantastic. Ik hou hier wel van Callie.Het valt me trouwens op dat ineens al die roofvogels verschijnen. goed werk

Congrats on this on-the-wing capture. Striking head and pose, well lit, nice one ;-))

Excellent action shot, Callie. Very nice composition and nice and sharp! Good work.

Your note made me think about something: we really share the same hobby but in a very different way. It is very meritorial the pacience you all have when photographing birds or mammals, always waiting for the "shot", that is definately not for me, sure. I enjoy moving around and find something interesting where most people would only see a weird fungus, or a disgusting insect. I think your job is much more difficult, and I appreciate it. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2005-01-08 13:04]

Wat id moeilijk om deze foto temaken Callie, een vliegende roofvogel fotograferen en juist met de vleugels in de grootste spreidstand, ongelooflijk mooi, grote fotograaf Callie, my compliments!

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-02-27 12:25]
  • [+]

Hello Callie,

I see this photo for the first time (it was shown on the TN homepage today) and I love it! :) Composition and details: 10 points. Really well done, too bad I can only give you 2.

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2005-03-13 21:46]

Flying Eagle !!!COME OUT well with eye contact:).

La paciencia es la mejor compañera, espectacular captura, excelente visión de esta magnifica rapaz, una luz dura que no baja la calidad de este impactante click

Patience is the best partner, spectacular catch, excellent overview of this magnificent predator, a light that lasts not lower the quality of this shocking click

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