I followed this guy about a quarter of a mile, from the ferry terminal to the fishing pier, until he rested on the breakwater. There were people around who noticed the eagle and remarked, "Lookit that bald eagle!" I thought, "Bald eagles never fail to conjure awe, no matter how many times you see them." Upon reaching the end of the pier, I sat my camera on the corner railing, got on my knees, and held the camera still. It would have been convenient to have had a tripod handy, as who knows how long it would take to be in this uncomfortable position.
As practice, I took many shots of him standing still. He’d look left, then right, then straight at me. Aside from the beeping of the auto-focus, only an occasional seagull could be heard. I didn't want to look around, for fear that the eagle would suddenly take flight. My left eye was pressed against the viewfinder, my right index finger lightly pressing the shutter button like a trigger-happy gunslinger.
As the hum of a Washington State Ferry came closer behind me, I hoped that it would spook the bird to fly. It didn't. The engine noise soon disappeared into the horizon.
My knees were starting to ache, but more importantly I was worried that my butt crack was showing.
After an hour, the bird crouched. I knew it was time. He started flapping his wings. I pressed the shutter button. Rapid shots. I whispered, "Yessssss!"
When the eagle had left, I didn't know which felt better: Capturing the bird in flight, or getting to stretch my legs. The hour of waiting and anticipating was actually only 15 minutes. But that wouldn't have sounded as dramatic.
Camera: Sony A7iii
Lens: Sony FE3.5-6.3/24-240
1/800 shutter speed