I love all photography, but when I am able to capture that once in a lifetime shot it makes my heart melt.
I enjoy nature, wild life, birding and the outdoors. For years I've had my eye on the eagles here in Michigan, but sadly, when I did rarely spot an eagle or two, I either didn't have my camera, my settings were all wrong, I shook too much, or they flew away before I could get take the shot.
Over the years, I've learned like a hunter, to be patient, quiet, and ready with a fully loaded camera at all times.
So, after taking photos of hundreds of other birds and Hawks, this has been our year for seeing and capturing Eagles as well as other magnificent creatures.
This Eagle shot came about on our yearly vacation in Florida. We were in Titusville, about an hour south of Daytona. We always visit a very rustic wildlife refuge in that area. While enroute, I started to see Ospry's on every telephone pole. I began saying very routinely, "Ospry, ospry, ospry, ospry,..." and then I saw him and shouted, "OMG! It's an Eagle! Stop!"
My husband, John, knows what the word stop means. He must slam on the brakes immediately, back up or turn around as fast as he can, or deal with a very disappointed wife who didn't get that winning shot. lol So as I've mastered wildlife photography, jumping out of a running vehicle in the pursuit of that once in a lifetime shot, he's mastered driving Miss Crazy!
So, of course, like a professional race car driver he slammed on the brakes, spun around and drove a hundred miles an hour until I screamed, "Stop!" Of course I'm flapping my hands wildly in the air, knowing we can't possibly get too close without the bird flying away.
John is amazing! Poor guy! But our vehicle, although the mechanics swear the brakes are in great shape, often screeches, squeaks, and makes all these other noises when halting to a stop, usually scaring skittish wildlife away.
Thankfully Florida eagles are in no way skittish. So this majestic creature not only sat on top of that pole staring at me like dinner, but he allowed me to get closer and closer. I'm thinking he was even amused as he watched me lift that camera and lens with both arms trying not to shake as I pointed it in his direction.
The lens itself weighed a good 10 pounds, but felt more like 100! I'd shoot, then take a few steps, shoot, then take a few more steps. Whew! What a work out. I was so exhausted by the time I reached the Eagle I needed a nap. Sweat was dripping from my face. I glanced at my watch, it had only been twenty minutes.
Just as my arm felt as though it had dislocated from my shoulder, the Eagle took that amazing leap off that pole. Of course I'm struggling to lift the lens one more time.
I felt like a hunter staring at his first big buck. My hands shook and my heart did flip flops. Still I kept snapping the trigger like some mad photographer. And lo and behold when I played the photos back, I got my once in a lifetime shot of that Eagle!
And John got praised for such great driving!
Believe it or not, kind of like my photography, I wasn't published for five long painful years! The only thing that filled my mailbox was hundreds of rejection letters!
But my first acceptance was with Guideposts Magazine and they are one of the top markets in the industry!
Thankfully I'm just one of those crazy people that never give up, even when hundreds of of professionals say I'm not good enough at something.
I guess it's a good thing that I like to prove others wrong! lol I also want to thank my husband, John for always being supportive and my greatest cheerleader! I wouldn't be where I am today without him and his love! -Lisa Freeman
Today, Lisa is an Award-Winning Author, who has over 500 articles and stories published in 30+ Magazines, as well as her 3 Part novel, Run For Your Life, based on her life as a teen runaway and life of abuse.