Nature Notes

December 2, 2008

6.Working a Subject

Filed under: Photography Tips — Tags: , , , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am

Red-tailed Hawk

I spend a lot of time photographing raptors and, of course, they can be very wary. Every so often I catch up with an individual who seems a lot less so. When this happens, its important to have patience. Don’t get a few good shots and start looking for something new. Keep with your subject and work it. Think about light and flight angles and where you should be positioned. Try some close up, or farther away. Be ready for unusual action. Make the most of this gift.

This juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was intent on something in the grass and allowed me to park my car very close to him.He gave me a few glances but became more and more comfortable with my proximity. He moved from post to post, allowing a variety of flight shots.
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Seeing something in the grass below, he crouched for a closer look. After pouncing, he seemed convinced there was a meal close. Finally he grabbed the tuft of grass and moved it to a post where he examined it bit by bit, but no joy. Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk Red-tailed Hawk
After a bit of a scratch, and some unnecessary rudeness, our session was done.
Red-tailed Hawk Red-tailed Hawk

Guide to Photographing Raptors Index


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  1. […] the photographer. Not only does it offer only a quarter of the area aspect of a hawk like the Red-tail, but its flight pattern is not as predictable. Add to that the fact that it gives no hint of taking […]

    Pingback by The Speed Demon-American Kestrel in flight | Nature Notes from Harold Stiver — December 5, 2008 @ 7:03 am

  2. your entire blog, particulary the section of “photographing raptors”, is very useful and interesting. thanks for sharing your tips and your photos!

    Comment by rolas101 — May 31, 2010 @ 11:21 am

  3. Thank you for the kind words, I’m glad you’ve found it helpful….Harold

    Comment by Harold — June 2, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

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