A couple of weeks ago I was driving through the Salmon River Canyon in central Idaho. I came cruising around a curve and suddenly saw a monster! It was huge! And noisy, with great flapping wings!
It did not seem threatening, so I settled in to watch its behavior. It would fly around for a while, and then come back to the river for a long drink, and then fly off again. When drinking, its huge wings would churn the river into a froth, with spray everywhere. There was definite smell of smoke in the air aroud the monster, so I think it also breathed fire!
Once I had a feel for the thing's pattern of behavior, I decided to try to get a picture. After a cautious, stealthy approach (I grew up in the woods, so I know how to do that) I finally got into position for this photograph. I'm glad I got this, as noone would ever believe what I saw without evidence!
It was quite an adventure, I'll tell you!
D700, 70-200mm F2.8 with TC-17E at 130mm, ISO 400 F14 at 1/250, handheld
I saw one very much like this one once at Oshkosh. They may be mates. The one I saw called itself Elvis and seemed quite playful. You could walk up to it on the ramp and pet it and it played in the air like it was having great fun.
Thank you Olivier! I admire your work a lot, which makes this praise even more gratifying.
Your point about rotor blur is valid. My position actually was a bit precarious, and things were happening rather rapidly. This moment in time was brief and I did what I felt I had to do to get the image I wanted. I have been doing various forms of aviation photography for a very long time, and long ago decided that I was quite willing to sacrifice some prop blur in some situations if necessary to get a really sharp and well exposed photograph. For me, sharpness and clarity of vision do sometimes trump prop blur. This a personal choice for anyone working in this challenging area of photography.