Congratulations to Danny Graber for winning the February Photo of the Month Contest
February 2017 – Danny Graber
On a dark, heavily overcast, and dreary day, I stumbled through Iowa fields of decaying cornstalks. I had a crazed determination, which had enveloped my mind at the time of breakfast, of maybe capturing an Eagle. So I had to do it. The temperatures were unpleasantly low and I was leaning into even colder, howling and gusty winds. My camera, slung around my neck, was bobbing violently and gleefully in the gusts, taking full flight and then slamming back into my body. I have black and blue bruises that are still healing and will confirm the veracity of all this. My hands were cold and I knew camera shake could be an issue.
All of the Eagles I spotted at a distance always took flight whenever I was within a half-of-a-cornfield of their perch – except this one. It had sympathy, I guess, and remained in place until I was close enough to capture a shot. By the time I got to this one I knew it was my last chance of the day. It was evening, getting even darker and I was weary. So, I bless this Eagle with kindness.
Camera info: Shutter 1/1000, F/5.6, ISO 1600 (it was dark outside), Nikon D800 with a 300mm prime lens and a 1.4 teleconverter for a 420mm equivalent.