Scene in Edmonds: Waiting for takeoff

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Photographer David Carlos provided the story behind these photos, taken Saturday:

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 corner 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. 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 jeans were riding too low.
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.

8 Replies to “Scene in Edmonds: Waiting for takeoff”

  1. David Carlos thank you so much for taking and sharing these wonderful photos.
    I hope your knees and back feel more wonderful today than they did then.
    True photographers become one with their subject, you certainly took flight with your camera that moment of that day.
    I admire your tenacity!

    Ingrid Wolsk

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  2. David, you never miss an opportunity no matter how low your pants go. What a gorgeous set of shots. Thanks!

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  3. Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. I encourage you to take pics and submit them to MyEdmondsNews. I’d love to see your points-of-view.

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