Regal Eagle

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There are many amazing birds of prey in Africa, but there is one that is undoubtedly the “king of the African sky” due to its beauty, splendour and hauntingly evocative, distinctive call. I am talking about the , of course.

During our recent Wild Eye photographic safari on the Chobe river that lies between Namibia and , we had some amazing encounters with these birds. This particular female was sitting on the edge of the river and we were able to glide our specialised photographic boat right up to her and capture some striking portraits. It’s not every day you can be this close to a raptor in the wild and capture these images (the ones you normally see are taken of birds in captivity or in rehabilitation centres).

This photo is pretty much full frame at 36 megapixels, and the details are mind-blowing. I particularly love the tuft of feathers blown up by the wind on the crown of her head. I opened the aperture as wide as it can go to smooth out the green riverbank behind her and create a pleasing separation between subject and environnent. I was hand-holding my lens, so I pushed the shutter speed to a high enough value to compensate for possible camera shake.

I used the amazing Nik Color Efex 4 plugin to extract some more detail and contrast from the bird – since the conditions were overcast and the light was flat.

Techs: Nikon D800 – Nikkor 500mm f4 VR-II – f4.0 | 1/1250 SS | ISO-140

I hope you enjoyed this one. Have a superb day, my friends…

Morkel Erasmus

Morkel Erasmus

Since picking up a DSLR camera for the first time, a little over 3 years ago, Morkel has been invigorated with an unbridled passion for the photographic art form. He has grown at a tremendous pace and put immense energy into the creation of his images. He absolutely loves spending time in the wild places of his native Southern Africa. From a young age he has been visiting legendary wildlife and outdoor locations, including the Kruger Park National Park and the Drakensberg Mountains, with his family. Now that he has found a way to share the natural beauty of his homeland with the rest of the world he is regularly out on photography trips. An Industrial Engineer by profession, and an accomplished artist in genres like music and poetry, Morkel has always enjoyed whatever allows him to express his creativity to the fullest. Photography turned out to be the perfect "marriage" between his engineering brain and artistic soul. "I hope that in some way I can raise awareness through my imagery of the plight of not only our wildlife but also the fragility of the last remaining wilderness areas that they call home.” Morkel was recently honoured for his commitment to his craft by receiving a "Highly Commended" for one of his images in the 2010 BBC Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He is based in Mpumalanga, South Africa and even though he prefers going on safari with his family and friends, Morkel also leads the odd photographic safari and has recently begun presenting workshops in post-processing techniques.

Morkel Erasmus

Morkel Erasmus

Since picking up a DSLR camera for the first time, a little over 3 years ago, Morkel has been invigorated with an unbridled passion for the photographic art form. He has grown at a tremendous pace and put immense energy into the creation of his images. He absolutely loves spending time in the wild places of his native Southern Africa. From a young age he has been visiting legendary wildlife and outdoor locations, including the Kruger Park National Park and the Drakensberg Mountains, with his family. Now that he has found a way to share the natural beauty of his homeland with the rest of the world he is regularly out on photography trips. An Industrial Engineer by profession, and an accomplished artist in genres like music and poetry, Morkel has always enjoyed whatever allows him to express his creativity to the fullest. Photography turned out to be the perfect "marriage" between his engineering brain and artistic soul. "I hope that in some way I can raise awareness through my imagery of the plight of not only our wildlife but also the fragility of the last remaining wilderness areas that they call home.” Morkel was recently honoured for his commitment to his craft by receiving a "Highly Commended" for one of his images in the 2010 BBC Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He is based in Mpumalanga, South Africa and even though he prefers going on safari with his family and friends, Morkel also leads the odd photographic safari and has recently begun presenting workshops in post-processing techniques.

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