Another raptor I "almost" got

Feb 1, 2005
SE Florida
Look out the window this early morn, and see this hawk sitting atop a pine tree. Totally stoked, I run into the plant room where my D2X/500+TC1.4 sits, do a VERY quick check of the settings, deem everything a-ok. I know when I open the glass sliding door, I'm only going to have a couple seconds to aim and fire, since I know he's gonna book soon as he hears the shutter sounds. This guy is around 300 ft away, but I know he'll see and hear me. So, the door slides open I turn, aim and fire! This is the what I got... crap, underexposed. Maybe next time.
Tried my best to rescue it in NC4, and did a light N.I. NR on it in PS, but.......... :redface:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Nikon D2X
Focal Length: 700mm
Optimize Image:
Color Mode: Mode I (sRGB)
Long Exposure NR: Off
High ISO NR: On (Normal)
2005/08/24 06:17:39.9
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
White Balance: Direct sunlight
Tone Comp.: Normal
Compressed RAW (12-bit)
Metering Mode: Center-Weighted
AF Mode: AF-C
Hue Adjustment: +3°
Image Size: Large (4288 x 2848)
1/640 sec - F/6.3
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Saturation: Normal
Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
Sharpening: Medium high
Lens: 500mm F/4 D
Sensitivity: ISO 800
Jan 25, 2005
Looks like he was in very early light, which make getting shots like this very difficult. You really did well to get anything considering the conditions. :wink:

Janie told me last night that on Monday she was on the back porch, and heard a strange sound in the yard. She looked around and saw a huge hawk sitting on the grass about 30 feet away, and she didn't call me!! :eek:
Feb 1, 2005
SE Florida
Man, what's wrong with that woman!?

To not notify you of a hawk in the yard, and just 30 ft away! :eek: Me thinks she might need a little lecturing. :Love:
Looking at the exif, it was shot just 17 mins after sunrise on a clear morning. I really neeeded to push the EV comp way up, but didn't think to do it. Maybe next time. at least I didn't have the cam set to MLU, which is what happened yesterday when I could've caught a Great Blue in flight. I thought something was broke, so I didn't press the shutter again.
Last edited by a moderator:
Feb 5, 2005
Steve :

These things will come.

I was just in a "target rich" environment in Wisconsin for two weeks, and I had a fair number of shots I had to outright discard, many more that are marginal, and a smallish number I'm pleased with.

Shooting raptors is not always easy, especially against sky. I'm typically adding 1 EV sometimes as much as 2 EV to get the exposure, but this shifts as they move from brighter to darker sky areas (or vice-versa). People like Ron Reznick are adept at addressing the compensation, but he's had scads of experience to apply.

And did you try running D-Light on the image ? Sometimes D-Light or Digital DEE can pull things back into line a bit.

And one of these days, you'll be posting a killer image of a raptor - I'll be watching for it.

John P.
Jan 29, 2005
Edmonton, Alberta
All things considering Steve you did a good job in rescuing this pic. Wouldnt it be nice just once to have it all come together. LOL............know the feeling. And I have done the MLU too .........just another adventure!


Oh man How I feel your pain. I can't even count the times I've almost got one (and let's not start counting :redface: )

All I can say is keep the machine gun loaded and ready to go, success will happen :wink:
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