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Iowa Bald Eagle Photograpy

Last weekend, four other photographers traveled with me to Le Claire, Iowa in order to photograph Bald Eagles near the Mississippi River at Lock an. We had a great time taking pictures. The weather did not cooperate with us much but we still managed to get a few good shots. Some of my favorite from the trip are below.

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Bald eagle with perch, Le Claire, Iowa, Mississippi River Lock & Dam 14

Eric J. Woody - Spectacular Bald Eagle photos. Ive done alright this year with eagle photos but I hope to get beter shots in the upcoming year. I have a few opportunities of photographing eagles at their nests in two locations so far hopefully I can find out about a few more sites. It will take a lot of patience inorder to get the type of photos I want and hopefully perfect conditions. Keep putting out spectacular photos it is inspiring and motivates me to sharpen my skills everyday.

Bob Vall - Great shots Jason. I just got back yesterday from a day at lock 14 in LeClaire. Was able to get a few decent shots but nothing like you got. What lens were you using for these shots and what’s your secret to sharp focusing at the right moment?

Thanks

Bob V

Jason Crader - Hi Bob! Thanks so much for the nice comments. I was using a Nikon D3s with a Nikon 300 f2.8 VR II lens and a 1.7 teleconverter. The 300 f2.8 is a super fast lens which you need to help keep up with the eagles in flight. The D3s does a wonderful job autofocusing. I used continuous AF to track the birds.

Larry Race - great photos: I would like to travel from Minneapolis to try my luck on eagles: when would be a good time to go to the dam and what lens would I need: thanks.

Jason Crader - Thanks Larry! The best time to go is when it is the coldest. Keep up with the weather reports for Davenport, IA and when they get a good stretch of zero or sub-zero degree weather, that will be the best time. The MIssissippi River will freeze creating congregating areas for eagles near dams where there is some open water. Good luck!

Richard Katz - Stunning photos. Appreciate your sharing technical information especially for newbies like me trying to shoot with my NIkon D-90 and Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 ‘kit’ lens.
These are some of the best bald eagle photos I have seen. Also, how the heck do you keep your fingers functioning in sub-zero weather?

Jason Crader - Richard…thanks so much for the nice comment. The trick to keeping your hands warm is to wear layers of gloves and them quickly when the eagles are flying! I’m looking forward to going back next month!

ROGER TAYLOR - Jason: What fantastic photos! You and Paul have contributed some great work!

Jason Crader - Thank you Roger! We always have a lot of fun together!

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