Where are my chips!

© Robert G. Stalnaker

Where are my chips!

Uploaded: January 24, 2008


Osprey hooked a big one at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. I had to work my way around a 7-8 foot alligator to get into a position to shoot this.

f/6.3, 1/500, ISO 100.

A special thanks to Stephanie A. Hanson who renamed this photo for me. (Stephanie is much more creative than I am).

Exif: F Number: 6.3, Exposure Bias Value: 0.00, ExposureTime: 10/5000 seconds, Flash: did not fire, compulsory flash mode, ISO: 100, White balance: Auto white balance, FocalLength: 82.80 mm, Model: DMC-FZ18


David J. Geaney January 24, 2008

Robert - Great Capture. Awesome timing, did you have any before/after shots? #838392

Robert G. Stalnaker January 24, 2008

Thanks David. The alligator prevented me from getting in shot position for a while, time for the osprey to dine on the fish's head. I got off about 15 shots. One other photo is in my gallery catching the osprey just as it is ready to take a bite, not an easy task as the osprey made quick snaps at the fish, then looked up, since it was nervous with me close by. #5389679

Philippe Vieux-Jeanton January 24, 2008

Very good capture, so neat!! (but I found the cropping a little tight IMO). #5389789

Michelle Alton January 25, 2008

Just exquisite photography, Robert. Glad you have your feet intact! I'm not so sure the fries go with this fish!
Michelle #5390303

Robert G. Stalnaker January 26, 2008

Thank you for the comments and input, Philippe and Michelle. At the location where I was, Michelle, the alligators can be close, but unless you get between them and young, or you fail to see one and get too close, it is not overly dangerous. I think where the greatest danger is when photographers are concentraing so much on the other wildlife and views that they don't watch where they are going. #5398386

Raymond Parsons January 27, 2008

This is a great shot, Robert. Thanks for your comments on my Harrier photo.

Regarding bokeh at f/8 - yes, it is with a 500mm f/4 with a 1.4X TC attached. I find that f/8 produces more sharpness with the TC then f/5.6 and the background compression is still nice. #5405438

January 28, 2008

What a stunning capture! #5411057

Dennis Flanagan January 29, 2008

any shots of the gator? #5413202

Robert G. Stalnaker January 29, 2008

I did take some shots of the gator. At one point, the gator, a geat blue heron, a tri-colored heron and a little blue heron were all in the same frame, but did not get close enough together to make a great shot. After cropping one photo of the gator, I noticed he was looking at me out of the corner of his eye, something I did not notice uncropped.

Dennis, your gallery is awesome. Absolutely awesome. #5415918

February 07, 2008

Amazing capture, The clarity and sharpness is superb. #5461351

Michael S. Lazarus February 13, 2008

This is a great capture Robert. Nice detail and commentary which is such a plus to draw hits to your gallery as I think people like to follow along with a photographer's journey and get some of the thoughts from behind the scene; at least I do. #5488115

Linda A. Braddock level-classic February 14, 2008

Robert, Love this picture, it is beautiful! Linda #5494570

Melissa Papaj March 02, 2008

This is definitely my favorite of your shots. How in the world did you get so close. I have yet to get this close to an Osprey. VERY NICE! #5583526

Robert G. Stalnaker March 02, 2008

Hi Sonia, Michael, Linda and Melissa. Thanks for visiting and for you comments.

Melissa, maybe I did get close to the osprey, but hey, I never got that close to a Barn Owl like you did! Your portraits and your raptor photos are beautiful.

Some possible answers to your question... 1] the stalking techniques I used, 2] the hours I spent in that spot that allowed the osprey to view me as nonthreatening, 3] the osprey here may be more "tame" as it may see more people in a "safe setting" of a wildlife refuge, 4] there are large numbers of osprey in Florida, 5] there was a scrub/hedgerow that separated me from the tree--I got very close, but the osprey felt shielded from me.

Actually, Melissa, I got even closer last week to the osprey in "Let's Kiss and Make Up". That osprey landed literally right over my head. Again, I was there for five hours at that spot so once more, the osprey probably observed me a long time and felt safe to get so close to me. I was partially in a "blind" under a pavilion, I wore camouflaged clothes, and nobody else was nearby to alarm the osprey (or the heron that I got some wonderful shots of).

If you are patient, animals may come to you. When you try to get close to them, it scares them away. This technique was used to get the osprey in "Osprey Scissorhands" and those other photos.

I bet, Melissa, if we changed spots, I would not be able to approach your osprey, and you would have been able to get just as close to "Osprey Scissorhands" as I did. Some osprey are accustomed to people, some are not. #5584326

Melissa Papaj March 03, 2008

I haven't ever seen an Osprey real close to my home. They are in Kamas, Utah which is about 2 hours from my house and where they are located is really not very accessible. The owls are just down the street on a deserted road, here in Syracuse. I am actually extremely surprised at how calm Owls are. They will sit there for quite a long time with me. They are no where near as skittish as other raptors. Your pictures of your Blue Heron are great too! They are also quite skittish birds. We have quite a few of them here, but usually I can't get close enough to them. #5585945

Robert G. Stalnaker March 03, 2008

There is a Great Blue Heron that has hung out near a pond by home all winter. It will not let me approach it all, skittish like yours. However, the Great Blue I took that series of photos of last week let me get very close since it probably was more used to people being in a nature conservation refuge, and for some of the reasons I listed above. I see bald eagles nearly every day near Orlando and ospreys are abundant. #5586237

Revonda L. Gentry March 16, 2008

Well done! I vacationed in Florida last yr and I have never seen so many osprey's in my life!! #5650627

Robert G. Stalnaker March 16, 2008

Hi Revonda and thank you for visiting. We may not have grizzly bears and snowy owls, but we sure do have ospreys! Like Melissa said above, some parts of the country they are rare. Florida has more year round residents of osprey than any state, plus in the winter, we get many migrants who spend the winter here. #5651513

March 18, 2008

This is a wild and magnificent shot, Robert!! I would have run over a gator to get it, too! Then I would have died from heart failure afterwards.... Umm..I don't know why anyone hasn't pointed out that what really needs to go with the fish is CHIPS...not fries...its the only natural choice.
What a spectacular and fierce shot you have here...it's lovely. #5659180

Robert G. Stalnaker March 18, 2008

You are right!

Tell you what, I will change the name to "Where are my chips!" and credit you for the title.

(I think I eat too many french fries).


Thanks so much for visiting, and for your very nice comments, and you will soon see your name as being credited for the title. #5661022

March 19, 2008

I feel very honored...thank you! #5665941

Gilbert W. Covington March 27, 2008

Great wildlife capture,Robert. #5707973

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