Since I make my living doing mechanical design work applying the technology involved in making good images, particularly digital ones, seems to fit me like a glove. Good images of eagles are among my most difficult, not only getting close enough to fill the viewfinder as much as possible but also recording the wide range of light reflected by the eagles extreme white and dark brown color variation is generally as much or more than a camera or this photographer can easily handle. Approaching close to nest sites is restricted and when that is added to the other difficulties getting decent images becomes a very tough job. With eagles one cannot make many mistakes, in fact one mistake is usually too many, that’s what makes it fun!
Hunting instinct and lessons leaned from the past enables me to better find animals and ways to get close to them. For good quality images there is no substitute for getting close to the subject but get too close or make any other mistake no matter how minor and the subject along with the picture is gone forever. The hunting urge has always been an all-consuming thing with me and now with a camera as my favorite weapon everything is in season every hour of every day. Taking advantage of a fleeting opportunity to capture a good image and again later when squeezing out every last little bit of quality that I possibly can while editing the image in my computer elevates me to a natural adrenalin high that I never seem to get enough of.
Good scenic and flower pictures require a fair amount of technical experience but more important is a good eye for composition. I have seen and also taken many pictures that had minor technical problems but still looked good because the composition was excellent. It is this that I place preference on in all of my images regardless of whether it is wildlife or scenic. I believe that the whole picture must be pleasing to the eye, if anything in the picture looks un-natural or draws attention away from the subject the resulting image falls short of expectations.
Although I used Nikon equipment until 2007 I prefer and now use a Canon 300mm f4 IS lens attached to a Canon40D camera for larger animals and a Canon 500mm f4 IS lens also attached to a Canon 40D for those that are smaller or farther away. Frequently I use a Canon 1.4X or Canon 2X Extender to boost power on either of the two lenses. This gives me a 300mm f4, a 420mm f5.6, a 500mm f4, a 700mm f5.6, and a 1000mm f8 all of which have yielded very good results. I prefer not to use zoom lenses for wildlife and this combination covers enough focal range to get the job done with out using them.
Having the opportunity to make my images available on this website for you to enjoy brings great satisfaction to me. I have worked hard to get them, I have a great deal of pride in them, and they are pleasing to my eye. I hope they are to yours as well.
Hubert C Hakes