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Seaward again for Eagles!

After our boat trip with Mull Charters last week in poor light and rainy conditions, we had another trip booked and just hoped that the weather would be a little more clement. Here on Mull you can literally see all weathers in a short space of time, but Pete and I were pleased this morning when it was calm and bright... just perfect conditions to get out on the boat and see if we could see and photograph the eagles again.

Pete does this trip regularly both with clients and as crew on the boat, and he must have absolutely thousands of pictures of these incredible birds. My first trip out was a steep learning curve, both in terms of seeing the eagles for the first time and for using my camera under these conditions! Learning how to track them through the air and getting the focus point in the right place to ensuring the exposure was correct when moving from sky to sea.... so much to think about.... and all on a moving boat! The excitement and desire to get a good shot means that everything can become a bit of a blur!

Today, I was a bit more composed regarding my photography on the trip. I felt more confident about how the eagles moved and how to track them across the sky. I tend to shoot in AV mode usually, but Pete convinced me to change to manual and it truly is way better. Takes a bit more preparation and thought, but once you know where all the buttons are to change the ISO and shutter speed if needed (without taking your eye away from the lens!) then is is a much better way to photograph, especially in a situation such as this.

There was virtually no wind and the skies were lightening... lovely conditions for the trip out!

This time I was a little better prepared when the eagles appeared. On one side of the boat, the skies were quite dark. With a touch of sunshine, I knew they would look fabulous when they banked or passed with the sun on their feathers. The intricate gradation patterning on their feathers is just exquisite!

Trying to get a catch light in their eye is also difficult and their eyes are virtually the same colour as their bodies, so I am thrilled with these , as the light was just lovely!

When they flew to the other side of the boat, the skies were much lighter, making for a completely different image....

At one point, the sky was very bright, enabling me to get this high-key effect shot as he banked. You just cannot help but be awe-struck at the beauty of these eagles!

I was getting better at panning and tracking them as they moved past us. It is really hard to keep the whole bird in the frame and ensure it is in focus, when they speed past you!

... and another ...

A few more fly pasts....

We then headed out around the coastline.... the cloud was beginning to roll in, in the distance... our sunshine disappeared and was replaced with some downpours... lucky we had packed the waterproofs... you never go anywhere without your waterproofs on Mull! It was going to take a bit more than a few heavy showers to dampen my enthusiasm!

Another treat was just around the next headland..... a pod of common dolphins! Moving at a fair pace through the water, they were so difficult to photograph; disappearing each time I lifted the lens. I ended up just focusing on a section of water and hoping they would appear! It was just amazing to see them powering through the sea....

Heading back, we passed through the showers, with the sun emerging again as we headed back to disembark. Thank you to Mull Charters for two great trips... I thoroughly recommend booking to go out with them if you are staying on Mull.

This evening Pete and I headed down to the coastal loch at the bottom of his road. We could see the sky changing colour and hoped there would be a good sunset.....

What a lovely end to another wonderful day!


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