Osprey with Catch

Photographed from a hide at a trout farm where the Osprey take advantage of the numerous rainbow trout. Taken using Nikon D850 with Nikon 300mm F2.8 at F3.2, speed 1/3200 and ISO 1600 (early morning and low light).

Please list any pertinent technical details or techniques to help others.


Keith, a stunning take on this Osprey fishing expedition. The large image has amazing intense facial & eye details…Excellent…:+1:

Wonderful for me to see this above and beyond the great photo. The most telling detail is that leg band. I love ospreys, but have always been concerned about their well-being. Nice to see that someone somewhere is having a look at them. Also clearly shows the band hasn’t limited their feeding success!

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your comments

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Hi Hank,

Most of the Ospreys that visit the UK are banded as they are a protected species here and carefully monitored. Would be nice to get a shot of one without any Jewellery. I see quite a few Osprey In British Columbia when I fish with my son (now a Canadian citizen) and none have any bands but never have my camera with me when fly fishing.

Do my wife and I ever know about that dilemma! :laughing: Somehow fishing always manages to come first for us.

Wonderful shot. I am wanting to upgrade my D7100 to a D850, just haven’t pushed the buy button yet. Shots like this do nothing to diminish my already great desire for that camera.

Hi David,

The D7100 is still a great camera and much lighter than than the D850. Yes the D850 has advantages but I regret selling my D7100 and not keeping it as a spare.

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Oh yeah. Over time spares prove their value. Breakdowns are rare, but they happen. More important to me, second cameras are invaluable when circumstances are dynamic and events happen quickly. I always keep my “spare” handy with a lens mounted, and it’s a small matter to switch cameras as dictated.

BTW- I showed your image to a good friend and Audubon principal, who was enthused as I am about the leg band and sign of research and monitoring. He is unaware of anything comparable here.

Keith, this is a nice image with lots of potential. Aside from the perfect exposure and fast SS, what’s especially nice is how the trout is flipping around, and the bird’s intense direct eye contact is great. I wouldn’t crop this so closely at the sides. You may have good reason to do so. Maybe you framed it too cramped on one side. I mis-frame myself a lot. Some folks like a tight crop to maximize subject detail. But that usually detracts from image appeal. If you have the room, I would go for twice the space you show on both sides, because a beautiful bird like yours deserves a nice environment.
Edit: I’ll reserve talking gear for Discussions, but wanted to add that I have yet to see a banded Osprey in these parts. Guess it’s because they’re so numerous here.

Hi Bill,

Much appreciate your advice and comments. I agree about leaving some more space around the subject. Unfortunately, I took this shot with a 300mm f2.8 lens from a hide on the banks of the trout farm and osprey was very close up. A 70 to 200mm lens would have been a better option but the only f2.8 lens I had was the Nikon 300mm and the light levels were low. It would also be nice to get a shot of an osprey without any bands but most if not all the birds returning to the UK have been ringed for monitoring.

Keith, I well know your dilemma. There have been many occasions for me that shooting with a 400 prime was too much glass, or with TC attached even moreso. And removing the converter was either too risky or simply impossible for the action at hand. Remonds me that I often should consider going with a shorter focal length then crop in post. Or maybe just use my 100-400 instead. For me the bands are in no way an issue. In fact, as a bird photographer, they’re always a good sign, ensuring the health of the species.

That sure sums up my experience. Framing and composition are vastly more important to me than praying to the magnification gods. And achievable as a matter of course with zooms.

On our recent gray whale adventures a young woman arrived with a 600 f/4 she was justifiably proud of. But with the whales at 20-50’, she spent most of the afternoon enjoying the show with her camera in her lap. It’s always good to enjoy a show, but she was pretty frustrated by all the money and weight doing her absolutely no good.

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What a great opportunity and an excellent capture, Keith! The obvious flopping of the fish is a nice bonus. Sure wish you would have had more light so that you could have tightened up the aperture and still got the shutter speed. That way the wings, feet and fish would have been sharp also. You certainly made the right choices for the conditions though and it paid off big time! :+1: