How I Got the Photo – Colin Horabin

2016 NPOY PICTORIAL, Finalist – A mature Bald Eagle fights with a juvenile Bald Eagle for a scrap of meat over the Sechelt Landfill near Sechelt, British Columbia, December 2016. (Colin Horabin)

This shot was taken as part of a personal long-term project on the Sechelt Landfill, which is up the coast from Vancouver, and its effect on the local wildlife.

The landfill is surrounded by an electric fence to keep the bears out. But eagles, other birds and small mammals can still get in and feed off the human discards. The garbage includes plastic bags, containers and other toxic household waste that people throw in without any thought.

Standing outside the electric fence, I was watching for eagles flying between the garbage pile and the trees where they perch to eat. When I saw several eagles fighting near the ground, I figured they had found something good. I tracked these eagles past buildings, equipment and fences until they reached a high enough point to get a photo. I had a clear sight for only a split second and managed to get a couple shots.

The image was shot with a Canon 1D Mark IV, manual mode, F2.8, 1/640 sec. 2000 ISO with a Canon 70-200 2.8 lens at 195 mm. Because of the overcast sky, exposing for the birds resulted in a blown-out sky.


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