Eagle attack

eagle attack seeking critique lasa miguel

Tags: attack eagle seeking critique

Category: Nature

Author: Lasa Miguel

Gallery: 3

Sunday 27th of February 2005 08:20:15 PM


Jose Angel Barbero
I M P R E S I O N A N T E. De lo mejor que he visto por aqui. No te molestes por el 1/1, no merece la pena. La foto esta ahi.... que aprendan los envidiosos!!!. Un saludo desde salamanca

Carlos Miguez Macho
Asombrosa, magistral foto. Enhorabuena. Un regalo para la vista.

Curtis Forrester
7/7 Outstanding capture!

Atle G.
A real joy. First class wildlife shot!!!

Carlos Ortez
Excellent. What a great opportunity to get a photo. Well done.

Marc G.
Hello, Miguel. This is certainly a very impressive picture. I wouldlike to ask what manipulation took place here at post-processing stage ? Did you add the top left bird ? Or did you perhaps add some sort of motion blur to the top left bird, or...?

Vezon Thierry
7/7 I think you are the best photographer of birds on this website!!!!

Chris Conrad
Super! Your time was well invested. cc

jerry beecham
AMAZING! and flawless.

Vicki Passmore
7/7 Leaves me searching for words . Beautiful capture. The lighting and the composition were captured at just the perfect second to make this stunnig image.

JF Ochoa
Impressive moment! Magistral capture with great definition and beautiful light. Bravo! 7/7

Swapan Chaudhuri
Fantastic... You must be congratulated for this capture(I hope it is NOT manipulated on PS). Excellent action shot ! Composition is beautiful.

David Koens
Amazing! Amazing! I have nothing else to say! 7/7 DK.

Tomaso Nigris
Great Impressive, 8\8 Did you say cheese to your protagonist?

Christopher Appoldt
Good grief! If this isn't a composite, it's a cover for a magazine! Fantastic!

hilmi m
excellent, cong.

Jon Thornton
7/7 Great action shot.

Marco Brivio
7/7 No words. These images deserve POM on PP, POW on PN and the admiration of everybody. Unique

Robert Bjork
Amazing WOW!

Jiri Subrt
super Wow, Great

Nicole Morozz
Awesome!!! 10/10/10...

Miguel Lasa
Thank you very much for your comments. This is an original photo not a composite.It happened as you see it.You could see more eagles fighting at my web site if you have time.The top bird is travelling faster than the bottom as that is why is slighly blurred. Photoshop used for minor color/levels and minor image cleaning. Thank you

Wayne Willis
awesome what a truly great capture. just brilliant. 7/7

Miguel Lasa
Thank you for your comments. This was taken in norway.It took me 7 days 8 hrs per day in a hide at -10c to get this series. I think the 1/1 vote is not a mistake , it was done in purpuse to hurt. Thank you

Cary Maures

Adolfo Briceno
Congratulations Miguel. Atta boy. Did you get them in Norway?

IceRock .
Excellent seen This is masterpiece, but I am wondering way you got 1/1 rating on your picture I am new here so this mast be a mistake, I was going to give you 6/6 for it but since I saw this 1/1 I will go to 7/7

gunner hoy
wow! This is a very nice photo.I watched eight bald eagles fight yesterday and capturing them like this takes alot of skill and patience, very nice.

Kent Ferguson
Wow Literally took my breathe away when I saw this photo. The stance of the eagle closer to the ground is magnificent. Brilliant capture.

Stanislav Belyaevsky
7/7 Great shot!

Marita Toftgard
IMPRESSIVE!! 7/7 Oh my goodness what a perfectly wonderful capture..
everything is so dramatic
and as the icing on the cake..you got that magic light

David McIlroy
not Photoshopped IMO I think this image is genuine. Look at the relative focus of the 2 birds. If each had been an original, focus should have been equally sharp in each case - although not guaranteed of course. The bird being attacked is also looking directly at the attacker and would not have been so off-balance unless the event was actually occurring. As it is, the image captures the dynamics very well and there is a real sense of movement with the snow particles kicked up by the attacking bird. Love the lighting and composition too. 7/7

Regina Chayer
blows my mind... incredible!

Dana Clemons
WOW! Absolutely love this! Great timing and angle of light! Dana

Richard Benson
Just plain AWESOME!

Alan Chan
Thanks for sight and the link to your personal web-site. This is truely amazing. I think your choice or digital of this kind of opportunity shots was a correct one and indeed I am surprised of output. Congrats.

Guillot François
fantastique incroyable!!!

Tony Georgiadis
Impressive perfect timing.

Kim Slonaker
Great photo and well worth the wait to get this shot. Congratulations!

Igor Laptev
7/7 Amazing shot!

Francisca Rivera
Really an impressive pic, one of the better pic i've seen here and there are here so much to admire. Congratulations. But in your portfolio i've seen others also impressive.

Jul Man
Besides tha fact that it's a great photo, it is very masculine one as well .. it shows power! 7/7

Felipe Rodríguez
Joder, Miguel! Puesto que yo tengo la misma c᭡ra, por qu頮o me dejas hacer esas fotos? ;) Impresionante!! Un saludo

Francesco Martini

Doug Garrett
Wow! Great composition, great stop action, perfect light, great capture! What more could you ask for?

Marc G.
Thanks for your reply, Miguel... Impressive result... Sometimes it's tough to tell what's photoshopped or not at this size... Great photo, congrats.

Harry Eggens
Awsome Miguel Fantastic scene. Very spectacular....Best regards, Harry

Rakesh Dhareshwar
7/7 Masterfully captured......U r an amazing fotographer

focus mankind
While I can look at hundreds different versions of plants, without getting tired - I'm tired of photos of eagles (that's just me-I don't know why). But this one stands out - it's amazing. I will start looking at photos of eagles with another "eye" - congrats to that beautifull shot

Stephanie Spears
Beautiful! I truly appreciate the effort you put in to get this shot.. It is a once in a lifetime moment when all factors come together.. light, birds, film, camera, composition, and action.. not easy to get and hardly ever able to be duplicated! WELL DONE!

Robert Speirs
Fabulous.. most pictures of birds of prey are taken of birds in captivity..shots like this are so rare, dedication and perseverence on your part have paid off ...Bravo robert

Christopher Appoldt
Not a composite! Fantastic! I noted that "This photo has not ben maniipulated" wasn't checked, so I wondered. Really great!

Bolti Ankheen
Excellent 7/7 Perfect Timing just super. Congratulations.

Paloma Ramirez
Estupenda!!!!!!! Uffff ????? que pasada.....!!!!!!

martin forget
disturbing even if it is not manipulated the eagle on the left looks realy bad for me and i find its to much distracting for being a good aesthetics. It look like a bad manipulated photo. Ebevn, again, if its not. Great porfolio Miguel. I dream of one like yours. Very good work

emil breistein
7/7 i have been trying to take pictures of eagles one time,i waited for around 8 hours and all i got to see was the dead chiken we had with us to feed the eagle. two days later there were 3 eagles at the same place the picture is rely cool good work were in norway??? when

Miguel Lasa
Martin this is not a manipulated photo.The left eagle is more blurred because the faster speed is travelling. I agree a faster shutter speed would have made this one better.

Carlo Ottaviano Casana
Extraordinary shot! Carlo

Miguel Lasa
Thank you for your comments .Roberto 1/500 sec

Ben Goossens
7/7 Wonderful ... well captured. regards, ben

adil karaca
Karaca Well done..great capture!

Umair Ghani
7/ 7 magnificent work. brilliant shot. nature's glory captured @ its best.

Wernher S
Miguel, I do not know whether you enter your photos in wildlife photo competitions, but if you don't you really should look into it. There are some big prizes at stake in some of the competitions and I can well imagine this photo winning. Regards, Wernher

Jiri Vasina
Excellent, excellent and excellent... Jiri

7/7 Ouufffff ! Bravo.

Manuel Toral
joder macho una vez mas nos acojonas,, ERES UN SEMIDIOS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7/7/7/7/7/7/7/7/8/8/9/9/10/10 y 25 se mi pongo

Razaq Vance
7/7 super...


Agapito Montoya Fernández
Fantastica y dinamica imagen, me encanta. Un cordial saludo

sean lulgjuraj
beautiful shot, I like the other one better, 7/7

Clive Mealey
If this is without any PS manipulation then it is one outstanding shot and deserves all those 7's...well done!

Pitman Lee
Holly cow!! awesome shot! :-O

Christian Testanière
christian Testanière 7 7 great shot, excellent photograh, well framed....bravo

Roberto Grilli
Fantastic! A very impressive image.

Nuray Gonulalan

Ahmet Özbaş
Ahmet Özbaş ...Great!!......

Richard --

An outstanding full action capture!


How did the "attack" end?


Thanks for sharing,



Yongbo Jiang
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I can feel the power from the attacking bird, the motion of the attacking bird really works.

Dougity B
Congrats on the POW This shot is a staple for Nat. Geo and similar publications, and is the result (probably) of patience, travel and a good lens. I, however, prefer my own interpretation: Small Bird (female): Get out of here, you cheating bastard! I know about you and that chicken hawk! Large Bird (male): Damn it, woman, get off my case. It didn't mean anything.

Georgios Chaziris
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I think one great element in this photograph is the warm light on the eagles wings that creates a nice contrast with the frozen landscape. Needless to say the timing is great. On the other hand it does not impress me as a composition. I find the attacking bird somehow flat and out of scale to be interesting. I could find similar photos in you portfolio that were better composed (but again they lacked the light). Overall , certainly a skillful photo , but still I feel you can do even better.

Barry F - Oklahoma
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I don't know about this. This is one of those situations where, even if you are right, sometimes you are wrong. There was really nothing to "compose," because it's hard to concentrate on "composing" something that's moving so fast. So it's a "right place at the right time" shot, which is not to diminish the power of the shot at all. It's impressive for it's action, but aesthetically, I'm not impressed by the flying bird which appears to have lost a piece of itself, and the bird on the right seems to be stuck on a post, fighting more perhaps to free itself than to defend against the other bird. Nice color and action, and certainly worthy of discussion. Perhaps Doug has the right perspective. Perhaps we could just call it "Eagle Discussion." I enjoyed looking at the other photos in this portfolio. Interesting work.

Giuseppe Miriello
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Generally taking this kind of picture requires time, patience, skills and a quite powerful gear, a great lens, a tripod - not to mention luck! I am not displeased of having part of the subjects blurred becouse of several reasons:
he was shooting under low light (sunset or early morning as far as shadows tell), with a long lens at f4..
predicting contenders positions at shooting time must have been difficult thus focusing was difficult (and canon ultra fast focus is an help here)..
also limited DOF avaibility under low light conditions has to be taken into account..
finally subjects were moving probably pretty fast.
Miguel has done an excellent work shooting this image, and the blurs can only tell us how remarkable his work have been and also tell us something about the dinamism of the scene that otherwise would be lost.

Marc G.
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Congratulations, Miguel. A superb picture from a really interesting folder, where aesthetics are generally great, and where I particularly love the choice of actions you photograph. A well deserved POW imo. And this is imo your best folder, so keep shooting these birds, Miguel !

As for the photo itself, I can understand the elves' little concern the blurry bird. I felt the same as I first saw this picture. But as explained by a previous poster, shutter speed may indeed have been limited by fairly low lighting...

Martin J. Clemens
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Outstanding capture! Right place at the right time...yes, but none the less, this is a magnificent image.

Leonidas Georgopoulos
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I am very sorry to say this, but this photograph in my opinion is PS. I hate this, but just look at the blurring effect near the tail and below the wing of the attacking eagle. Also, the vector of motion of the eagle + the motion blur are not in parallel. Moreover, the plane of focus seems to me different in the attacking and the attacked eagle. Moreover, around the attackin eagle there are local blurs, instead of a uniform distribution of dust. Again, if I am wrong my apologies and 7/7 is what you have already got. But, this picture seemed to me like a composition from the start, and if one cannot say his opinion then...anyway, those are my thought. Corrections appreciated, as well as photo compositions, but this so.

sean lulgjuraj
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa amazing shot Miguel! I really love your work, A few questions if you dont mind, were u using a motor drive? and where do u go to take these spectacular pics?

John Bratman
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Hi.Great picture but I think you should increase the size of the attacking bird to keep the proportions correct (it looks too small to me). Considering you have shot at 1/500 I cannot understand why the attacking eagle is so blurred, especially the feathers on the wings considering the larger bird is so sharp). I would have also cloned out the artifacts around the neck and head(has this been pasted). If it is indeed a straight shot then maybe submit one of the other pictures off your website which look far more convincing.

Dale Bryson
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Increase the size of the bird??? Just let it be! Just because you CAN manipulate something, doesn't mean you should. ...Even if it is to get a better 'composition.' IMO a photographer should just get as much credit for being in the right place at the right time with the right gear as he should for shooting 'great composition.' Miguel - FAntastic Capture!!! I am curious - how long did you spend in preparation/ waiting for this shot? My only critique is that I think there is too much USM applied in PS. Other than that, WOW!

John Bratman
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Sorry forgot to add ; )

Dougity B
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa "I can understand the elves' little concern the blurry bird. I felt the same as I first saw this picture. But as explained by a previous poster, shutter speed may indeed have been limited by fairly low lighting... " Whatever the cause of the limited DOF, I think the proof of a sharper focused smaller bird producing a better image would be to present a side by side comparison, and see how many prefer the sharper version. Put another way, why would anyone purposefully put the smaller bird in soft focus? The softness of the smaller bird is a flaw, in my opinion, although one which most of us are willing to overlook.

Vuk Vuksanovic
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa i am going to go out on a limb here and suggest all of you are partially blind. the small, attacking bird is neither small or attacking. it is simply landing further behind. the larger bird (the one in the foreground) made a bit of a mess landing and is regaining its balance. very interesting photo. i know little about nature photography, but this strikes me as being quite unique and praiseworthy.

Yongbo Jiang
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa The blur is caused by the speed of the attacking bird, check his web site.

Greg S
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I don't have any problem with the bird motion on the left. A case can be made for its actually adding dramatic action to the composition. An amazing photo!

Jim Trombley
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Having spent many hours photographing the Bald Eagles in Homer, Alaska and seeing how they interact with each other in situations such as this I have to applaud Miguel and this image. For those of you who insist that this is a composite or has been PS'd in any manner than explained by the photographer, I invite you to join me for a photo excursion to Homer so you can observe these birds in the wild. I suspect that perhaps some are only jealous of not having taken this image themselves and are trying to distract from the reality of the image. Even with the exposure being at 500/sec, their movement is to fast for eveything to be in focus. I've taken images of eagles at faster shutter speeds and still had feathers blurred. When you have bird of this size, this close to you there is going to be some movement shown. Judging by the snow that appears to be flying under the attacking bird I suspect that it has just taken off to fly at the other one in an effort to show some domination. Remember that not all these birds are the same size and I have observed smaller birds trying to show dominance over larger and apparently older ones. The flying bird would show more movement as it is moving faster than the standing one. The lower bird is mearly stretching back and spreading it's wings to prepare for the inevitable strike. Sometimes when doing this is appears almost as if they are falling backwards. I guess the days of taking a photographer at his/her word are gone. Everyone thinks something has been run through PS just because it is a great image. Composition, color saturation, lighting, all the basics can be controlled through the camera and yet no longer does the photographer receive the praise for learning and applying their skills so effectively. Sometimes I feel it was a sad day when PS was created. Technically this is a great photo and deserves all the 7/7 ratings it receives.

Victor V
Just one question Just one question, and I'm asking it because I'm an amateur when it comes to PS, and maybe someone can enlighten me. Why is it that the "attacking" eagle has a different colour at the immediate front of its claws/feet, compared to the background? It looks like it's a cut and pasted pic from another photo. I took a look at your portfolio, and it's very impressive, great photos, but this particular one seems suspect to me.

Rajan Desai
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa If this photo is manipulated, all photos in the series must be. I think this is a great photo and Migual deserves a full credit for taking one. I love the light in this picture and also the action. I would have liked slightly different angle for the attacking bird, but hey that easy to say. Great work. -RD

Marco Francardi
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Guys, what is the purpose of manipulating a pic, and saying it isn't, in a web site's discussion forum? what does it come to him? glory for something he hasn't done... and he knows it? c'mon! it would be a silly thing to do. all the praise would be useless...and he knows it! Miguel: my best regards, and I envy you not only for the pic, but for the time spent there!! Keep up the good work!

Stephanie Spears
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I feel like i need to step in to defend Miguel even though I have never met him. I work with eagles and I can add something to this discussion. This is indeed a real shot, not composited. The eagle on the left is preparing to meet the challenger.. they do that with their claws, since the talons can be up to 4-5 inches long and are razor sharp! You can see slight blurring in the motion of the right claw of the eagle on the right, showing movement there. You also see small snow flakes being "flicked" up from the eagle on the right, again showing movement. Basically, the bird on the right has been in a sitting pose, sees the bird on the left coming in... up to 30 mph at this point in the photo (give or take), and getting into a strike pose. At this moment, the bird on the right will simultaneously hop up and put claws/feet/talons forward in an attempt to gouge the chest area of the attacker. There is only ONE TIME when birds get into this position.. that is as a defense in an attack. The plane of angle and the size of the attacking bird, is as all PHOTOGRAPHERS know, a trick of perspective. Lens choice and position of the bird make it seem that the attacking bird is smaller because you are seeing it practically on edge. Any birder knows that birds in flight show multiple silloettes (sp) depending on if they are flying away from, toward or from left/right or right/left in frame. The subject of the photo is clearly the bird being attacked.. sharper focus, dominance in the frame, light, etc. While I wasn't there, I'll have to guess what Miguel went through to get this shot. He's low on the ground, so probably in a blind of some kind. He's been there for hours, because he's gotten the birds to feel relaxed enough to land nearby to him to get the shot. He's probably scouted the area for some time to know where the birds habitually land, and he's probably entered the area before dawn so that the birds didn't see him. You can see it's cold in the area because of the snow on the ground. He either had a spotter with him to tell him there was a bird coming in from the left, because a moment ago.. literally less than a couple of seconds, the bird on the right was probably engaged in preening or eating behavior. This action would have happened in such a short time that he wouldn't have been able to react quickly enough once his brain realized what was about to happen.. it would have been over. He probably took several quick frames, as quick as his camera would allow. If he was lucky, then this fight between the two would have gone over again and again, allowing him to get multiple sequences. If he was really lucky, the eagles didn't hear his camera firing or film rewinding or the his movements in the blind to cause them to flee the area. What's amazing in the photo for those who don't take wildlife shots.. is that the lighting is superb, the timing is EXACT, the subject matter is impecable, and the behind the scenes work that is involved in making something like this. We've seen too many National Geographic shows, becuse we've lost the ability to appreciate what it takes to record truly spectacular wildlife images. Again.. well done Miguel!

Rod Sorensen
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Part of me says WOW! and part of me says HUH? I don't have to explain the WOW feeling as many of you have expressed reasons for it. So I'll explain the HUH? feeling. Somehow when I look at the image I keep asking myself what's not right about it. First, it doesn't seem to me that the body languages and positions of the eagles quite match up. Secondly, it seems like the upper left eagle is further away than the foreground eagle. Admittedly, it's hard to tell when there is motion blur. Lastly, when I look at the edges of the upper left eagle it just looks odd - not like edge blur from motion. I am no expert on determining composites, but it certainly entered my mind also. So, WOW! or HUH? So far the WOWs have it.

Landrum Kelly
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Congratulations on PoW, Miguel. There is nothing wrong with this picture. Small birds will attack larger ones, and birds in a dive or coming out of a dive at high speed will often have very strange appearances due to their lowered profiles in order to reduce wind resistance. This is a fine photo of a very dramatic moment, very worthy of PoW.

Dale Bryson
Victor - The difference in color you refer to is 'edge contrast' which has been enhanced by the Unsharp Mask Filter in PS (USM). I agree that it looks bad. It is however due to over-application of a filter (which is all to easily done) and (at least IMO) contributes to the fakey appearance of such an image. (you can see it also around the head of the bird on the right, and around the specs of flying snow.) I believe Miguel though, that this image is the real deal. ...Lesson?: Use your filters in moderation! Don't oversharpen! (I think it is much better to under-sharpen an image than to over-sharpen.) This applies to most PS filters!

Shawn Kearney
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Technically, it is quite good, given the challenge of the subject, though, immediately I could still tell it was heavily manipulated [opinion] and had to check to make certain you were not trying to get away with something - but this manipulation was not done in a collage way [opinion], which has plenty of room for forgiveness, but rather in a way which is meant to be convincing. In this regard, I think it fails - and rather becomes cliche. With all honesty, I think this image relies entirely on it's subject matter to work successfully.

Michal Kielan
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Really very impressive, as well as the rest of you works. The only thing that bothers me is the title... In my opinion there's more from love there then from brutality, aren't they a couple during the mating season? Or is my knowledgle about eagels' behaviour insufficient?

Marc G.
To those who still feel this is a composite... I initially thought it COULD have been a composite - not because of the edges, but because of the way the blur looks -, so I certainly know where your doubts come from on this issue. But while your suspicions are "reasonable", don't you also need to acknowledge the very fact that the photographer already replied in the original (pre-POW) thread, that this was NOT manipulated...? As far as I am concerned, having no evidence of manipulations, I simply believe the photographer - because I have no reason to doubt him.

At this point, if anyone says it IS manipulated, he's in actual fact accusing the photographer of lying ! Imho, before you accuse somebody you need a very strong demonstration or presentation of evidence. This is basic deontology and rules of courtesy, as I see it.

And while I, for one, think that Photoshop has opened many doors to photographers, I certainly agree with Jim Trombley above, who wrote this: "I guess the days of taking a photographer at his/her word are gone. Everyone thinks something has been run through PS just because it is a great image. Composition, color saturation, lighting, all the basics can be controlled through the camera and yet no longer does the photographer receive the praise for learning and applying their skills so effectively. Sometimes I feel it was a sad day when PS was created."

Yes, Pshop is great per se, but has also taught us to be suspicious about virtually any picture - and that is indeed truly sad...

Daniel Montero
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Miguel has a really good photographies of eagles and other raptors. You can only take a look into his webpages (the one here and other one in WWW.fotonatura.org) to know that this image is not manipulated. He has a lot of different images of these animals fighting.. Somebody is saying that the left eagle is smaller, but I think is due to the position of the wings. Compares the size of the claws... they are almost the same size between both animals.. I don't think he has manipulated the photo.. I think that Miguel has spent a lot of time in the wild, waiting for the best day, the best hour and the best minute... Just this and not spending hours in front of the PC screen.. Cheers from Canary Islands and continue doing things like this, MIguel...

Nick S
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I've got to step in... ... the "perceived" difference in size between these two raptors is largely an OPTICAL ILLUSION. Note that I added a qualifier "largely" to that assertion. I qualified the assertion because, as with all animals, some difference in size is to be expected. However, the perceived size difference is immaterial, and entirely created from the edge-on view we have of the eagle on the left. The spread wings of the eagle on the right - not to mention expanded tail feathers and body width - give the impression of a much more substantial bird, but it's just not so. The easiest way to tell is to take your fingers to the screen (go on, do it) and measure the distance from the tip of the head to the tip of the tail of the bird on the right... now move your fingers over (maintaining that distance) and do exactly the same thing with the bird on the left... pretty close, isn't it? Certainly - I would think - within the normal variance for a species such as this. Bottom line... take the photographer at his word. I dislike manipulations and being fooled as much as many in this forum, but it is unfair to lay such accusations in this instance.

Dennis Jones
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa So if this would have been shot on film...how many of you non-believers in this person's word would say this was a manipulation????? Even in the pre-PS days, someone with good darkroom skills could have manipulated this photo. Man, cut Miguel some slack... Go out and try to photograph sparrows flying in your yard and see how hard it is...then PS those shots into this winner. Then think about the patience and skill that it took to bring home this winner.....Right place, right time, right eye, right skills.....

Mary Ball
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Moderator Note: Ok I guess I'm going to have to step in sooner rather than later.

Let's not turn this into one of those old and tired discussions about Manipulated or not Manipulated... Furthermore, I will insert [opinion] if you state things as fact that are not known. So ;-) I'd suggest that people realize that many times the "facts" you present about another person's work are your opinion. Please phrase your comments in that light. I'm going to try not to edit/delete the PS or not PS comments but if it gets out of hand I'll have to.

Sometimes you'll have to agree to disagree and move on. Cheers..

Nacho Hernandez
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I think that the photo is so perfect that it is hard to believe that it wasn?t manipulated. If the photographer says it wasn?t, I think we should just believe him and enjoy. I think that the composition is perfect (again, how can you compose a picture of two wild eagles fighting), the light is outstanding and, what IMO really makes the photo is the Christ look of the attacked eagle.

A.K. Sircar
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa "Truth is stranger than fiction". In this case,the original shot is equal to or better than ps. Let's believe what Miguel wrote and give him the full credit of being an outstanding photographer.

bob hilton
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa To Doug Burgess (and others) -- Concerning raptors, the rule of thumb is that the females are larger than males by 20 - 30%. Thus it would seem that the attacking bird is male and the defender is female.

Vincent K. Tylor
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa This is an excellent capture in my mind not only because of the action that we see taking place, but the very dramatic golden lighting that seems to illuminate features of both birds. That lighting takes a very interesting image to an even higher level. Initially, I admit to wondering if this was real because the birds when viewed close-up (try 300 percent) appear to be at entirely different focal points. However, not only did Miguel address the issue specifically, but if you go onto his website you will find this image which looks to me to be the follow up image to the POW here. So, in my opinion, the issue is settled. Excellent work once again. http://miguel-lasa.smugmug.com/gallery/378321/1/16718719

Michael Eckstein
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I rate this a 7/7 and I don't care if it was created in P/S or not. I look at an image for it's overall effect and this image is stunning. If it occured naturally it was a great capture, a once in a lifetime image. If it was created in P/S it was a lot of work with a great result. I will take the photographer at his word an not try analyze this in P/S to prove it one way or the other. I still don't understand why people get bent out of shape by how someone created an image. Snapshooters take pictures. Photographers make pictures.

Vincent K. Tylor
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I should add, notice the sloping hill behind the bird being attacked in the background of the POW image, and then notice the exact same sloping hill, lighting, background etc with the image on his website where there is major contact. There is no doubt.

Pawel Czapiewski
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa One click of the dial to 1/1000 and much of this discussion wouldn't take place. Miguel has done it on the next frame in his folder. It was enough to freeze similar skirmish but the light here makes all the difference. I admire people working so hard to shoot scenes like this one for our enjoyment. Regards,

Dustin Stevens
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Excellent photo. The timing is the hardest part of something like this. I can only imagine how long you waited, although throughout the wait I'm sure you got many more good shots of this bird. Patience is a virtue. Someday I'll have that kind of patience... someday:)

tina ros
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Amazing photo. 7/7 of course :)

Dana Brown
whoa that's a badass shot. The sharpness of the attacking bird does not bother me. Eagles are beautifully aggressive.

Emily Rose Bennett
Not PS I totally believe this has not been photoshopped. I go to Western Kentucky's school of photojournalism and i have the privelage to work with photographers who can catch a moment like this as well. Bravo. It's a great shot. The reason i mention all this is because i read the first paragraph telling about the photograph. Congratulations. Keep shooting!

Murray Leshner
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa This caught my attention enough to read all the comments. Nice shot. Some of the comments do read like "Well, if I were that eagle, I woulda done such-and-such". Sadly, I do get the feeling I would never want a photo to be honored by POW because of all the BS one has to endure...but I dont'think I'll ever have to worry about that limelight myself :O) Murray

Mario Paper Martinez Caballero
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa In order to caught this kind of pictures the photograher must to be very patient, then, select correctly the place where he will to capture the eagle or any animal. The photo looks a nature capture I don`t think it could be manipulate in photoshop because the action let us to see a real wildlife animal. Mario Paper Mart쮥z Caballero/M踩co

John Bratman
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Is it just me or has the attacking eagle got three feet...2forward and one to the back of the leg feathers? Can someone please verify?

Dougity B
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa John, I'm pretty sure those are tufts of feathers. Bob Hilton, that makes the comedy much harder.

John Bratman
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Thanks Doug, I guess with the attacking bird being such poor quality then this must be why the doubters feel it has been altered. I too thought that the wing had ben cloned with it being so blurry but with 2 distinct black lines running down at -45 degrees. I suppose the moral of this is to get a decent quality shot in the first place so as to leave no doubt. With snow I thought that you got better lighting with the reflectance and so a decent photographer would have known that 1/500 was not sufficient in this case. I think overall a decent image spoilt by bad technique.

Landrum Kelly
Bad Day at Black Rock Miguel, I have gone to your site (alluded to above by Vince Tylor), and I have seen what appears to be the next shot in the sequence. I am left wondering if either bird flew away from the fight that ensued. It looks like a fight to the death. How about telling us how it came out? It would also be nice if you could post that photo from your other site on Photo.net in this folder so that we could see it here. As for the blurring, I think that it represents excellent technique, since it shows the tremendous speed of the attacking bird. I agree with those who believe that a shot of nature should be minimally manipulated through standard post-processing, nothing more, ever.

Landrum Kelly
Follow-up Shot For those who haven't seen what appears to be the follow-up shot, it is at http://www.miguellasa.com It's definitely worth the trouble.

Rod Sorensen
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Can someone answer one other question I have on the image? Why are there snow flakes all over the left side of the picture including above the eagle and only a few low snow flakes kicked up by the right sided eagle. The physics of this don't make sense to me. I don't think the speed or height above the grouund of the left sided eagle could create this snow pattern and clearly the snow isn't coming down from above unless it's a very localized storm.

Landrum Kelly
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Rod, surely all of the snow must have been kicked up by the bird on the right. Nothing else seems to make sense.

Graham Rees
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Miguel, Congratulations on such an amazing capture!!! I agree with the majority here, this is a real image and a truly remarkable piece of photography. To those who don't agree, go buy a bird feeder, then watch how the birds at the feeder interact with one another for a month or two. Then come back and apologize for doubting this photograph. I also agree with you Murray, its too bad that such a great photo (and photographer) have to get run down after earning a very well deserved POW. rees

Siddhartha Chaudhuri
Snow physics? Rod, if you are applying physics here, I will recommend you for the Nobel. Are you seriously telling us that you can predict how two birds flapping around will scatter snow? And if you still insist on a "rational" explanation, then for starters, the bird in the air is moving faster than 1/500 sec can freeze it (stop a while and think how fast that is) -- I would expect it to be shedding/scattering a lot of snow -- while the bird on the ground is comparatively stationary. When there's a reasonable, non-PS explanation for everything -- the size disparity, the shadows, the snow -- why the hell don't you take the photographer at his word? Truth can be stranger than fiction, and this isn't even strange. If you guys haven't learnt by now that patterns in nature can appear unusual when projected in 2D (that includes our eyes), then you haven't learnt to see yet -- how on earth do you take your own photos? By your logic, every one of HCB's pictures is photoshopped -- no really, I have convincing "evidence" to prove it. The same goes for Adams, Kertesz, Bischof et al. I agree with Murray -- no photog would _want_ to get a POW.

Landrum Kelly
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Siddartha, I took Rod's question as a simple straightforward question, not an attempt to denigrate the picture in any way. The eagle on the right is flapping to push her upper body backward and has probably kicked the snow up with her talons as she tried to get something to hold on to. The eagle on the left will bring a blast of air that will kick up snow, but that blast of air isn't on the ground yet. That bird on the left is really MOVING, cutting through the air like a blade, but the one on the right has seen him coming a long way off, and there has been ample time to kick up the snow as she tries to get herself into position to repel the attack. At least, that's my best explanation. Anybody else got a theory? Not every question is an attempt to imply PS manipulation.

Miguel Lasa
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Sorry for the delay in answering but just back from Finland taken some Golden eagles photos. Thank you very much to the moderators of photo.net and for members for your trust in me. I was focusing on the static bird at 1/500 to take a pose shot when suddenly I noticed he started looking upwards, from the hide you cant see what is comming from above. I was very happy to get the shot for you to see even is not perfect. If I knew it was going to happend I would have chosen ef300 instead ef500 so I could see the bird comming time before. Also I would like to have used 1/1000 to freeze both birds but events like this happend once in a lifetime without warning. I would post the folow up photo that happents 1/30 sec after this shot, both birds collided in mid air. Also not sure if is a fight or a ritual...they seemed not to hurt themselves. It took me 2 years to get this series in Norway , sacrificing other types of holidays to sit in a hide at -10 waiting to something happend.I have spent days just looking at roks and a few ravens around with no sign of eagles...sometimes I though I was going to go mad !!! Once afternoon I was lucky to see one. I could not believed what happened mext !

Miguel Lasa
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa eagle mess

Hulki Okan Tabak
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa It is a moment captured brilliantly. The strength of the photo is in its uniqueness.

Stephanie Spears
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Someone asked about the eagles and the attack. These things happen often and are over within seconds... literally about 2. The attack may happen again and again between the two or may spill over to other eagles that are nearby. This photo shows an adult (the attacker) and a juvenile (the attacked). You can tell by the amount of white on the juveniles. This is also clearly a fight.. not mating behavior. Mating/bonding behavior happens high in the air. Talons clasp, as both eagles fall toward to the ground, letting go at an opportune moment.

Stephanie Spears
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa About the light/shadow.. the sun and the attacking eagles do not exist on the same 90 degree plane. The shadow from the attacking bird is on the left wing of the attacked bird.

Tom Purnell
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Ok, I'm not a pro, but come on. There was some manipulation(sp?) to this images. Just look around the claws and some of the feathers. There is a halo around it.

Shawn Kearney
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Ok. I cannot believe there is this argument going on. This image is, in my educated opinion, manipulated. The artist who created it even told us it was. Wheather or not you believe in a twenty-three year old expert is up to you, but I have been using Photoshop since version 2, I have formal training in image reproduction and Adobe Photoshop. This is not a matter of a graphic arts or photography student who learned Photoshop as part of his curriculum, rather, Photoshp WAS my core curriculum. I don't think it really matters much if this image was manipulated or not. This should not change anyone's opinion. The bulk of it was created using light, and theirfor, it is a photograph. If this image was done in the darkroom as a photo montage, then we wouldn't have this discussion. The differences between traditional photography and digital photography are not that great once you get around the fact you don't need to get your hands wet! I have chosen to include evidence of my opinion. Hilighted in red are areas of interest. The most notable areas are A, B and C which shows evidence of the main flaw in the motion blur filter, which, takes a pixel and basically extends it with a blur algorhythum. The computer, not knowing the physics of the subject, does not really know how the blur should behave, and just extends it in one, linear direction. This is most obvious in the detail of the "attacking bird" in the lower left. Notice how all the dark detail runs perpendicular. According to this rendering, the attacking bird is in fact flying upward at an angle of about 20 degrees. Even if the attacking bird was in a slope, the blur would render out differently to reflect that slope. Also, it is likely that the wings would render differently than the body, such would also be the case in A and B. Here, the artist seems to have blurred in segments to illustrate a arching movement. However, each segment is none-the-less very linear and static. Finally, on area D, where it is most obvious, in my opinion, that the artist had cut away this bird, less so slightly below. In this area, the feathers appear clumped together and in particular the upper feather, no longer renders as feathers at all! This is not saying it is a horrid job, [if manipulated] the illustrator seems to have spent a great deal amount of time making it convincing. It does work as an image, though.

Marc G.
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa See, Shawn, this is at least a very convincing piece of comment. You just explained the exact reasons why I first doubted this image being real. Unfortunately, as it is now, I can't double-check what you mean exactly on your attachment, simply because this attachment wouldn't open.

Perhaps you may want to try reducing the size of it to a less than 500 pixels wide close-up of the most interesting portion...?

And then, we shall talk serious business...

The 2nd image in this series, that I found on Miguel's web site - and which he probably uploaded here (unfortunately invisible as well), shows indeed that the series is real. But that is not to say (or at least not yet), that the left bird wasn't blurred using PS. Was it ? Was it not ? For the sake of it, let's for a moment assume Shawn is right (he could be), and let's see his attachment...

Marc G.
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Ok, now I see it, Shawn... No idea why I didn't have access before...

So, now that I see it, I think you have indeed spotted the exact thing that made me wonder about manipulation in the first place, and all you say is true and logical.

This being said, the reason why I ended up believing Miguel is, that I felt the size of the image was too small to be really sure. Meaning that this 20% up straight line that gives the blurry effect MAY still, imho, be caused by the bird's movement. Couldn't the bird indeed fly off at 20%...? Please note that there is snow flying under the flying bird, which means that he did touch the ground very shortly before this very moment.

In my opinion, a close-up (300% of what we have here) of this attacking bird should allow us to reach a final conclusion. As it stands right now, at this size, I personally can't reach a final verdict.

Landrum Kelly
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Shawn, although I cannot open your attachment (or Miguel's or Tom Purnell's, for that matter), I have downloaded the same image that you have, and I have blown it up and examined it just as carefully as you have. I see nothing that is definitive evidence either of falsification or of the bird's angle of flight. My guess is that it is still approaching the larger bird on a slight downward slope, but with braking being applied by changing the angle of the wings (as we commonly see when birds are slowing down or even getting ready to land). A slight upslope after brushing the ground is possible but not so likely, given that they are going to collide. A twenty-degree upslope would indicate that the birds are likely to miss, contradicted by the follow-up shots. You are seeing what you are seeing. Of that there is no denying. What is debatable is the inferences that you are drawing. Tom infers much from a "halo" effect, but that is very common around images that have been sharpened or been subjected to standard post-processing. If Miguel will upload the original file, before any sharpening or contrast and brightness adjustments have been made, then we can tell. I am inclined toward the view that the picture is not a montage; that is, that it is authentic and deserving of PoW. I thought that we were through this phase of claiming that degree of manipulation, and I still believe that we need clear and definitive evidence before we make such assertions.

Stephanie Spears
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Shawn, Where is it that the artist told us it was manipulated? In fact, Miguel answered that question early on in the discussion "Photoshop used for minor color/levels and minor image cleaning". I wasn't able to open these additional files you've put out there to review your proof. But I didn't see any mention of the shadow on the attacked birds upper left wing. This shadow is from the attacking bird. Feathers are not static, there is movement of individual feathers in both the lateral and vertical horizons in flight. I think you've assumed the feather movement caused by aerodynamics of winged flight as digital manipulation where there is none. I think there's more than enough evidence in Miguel's folder as well as on his website to show the entire series as well as put to rest the manipulated or not argument. This is a perfect representation of what happens out in the wild. Miguel had the amazing luck and talent to record it on film. stephanie spears

Rod Sorensen
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I'm not as sure as a lot of other people seem to be about the "second picture in the series". If it is the one at Miguel's website, it seems to me that it could have been taken at an entirely different time - at least many seconds later. I have spent a lot of time looking the the two pictures at his website and I would not have interpreted them to be sequential pictures. I can't open the image he posted here, so it may in fact be a different image that he is talking about.

Landrum Kelly
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Stephanie, with all due respect, what else could the elves have said but that "according to the photographer, this photo hasn't been manipulated"? I agree with your other points, since you clearly understand more about birds than most of the rest of us.

Miguel Lasa
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Rod, the second picture I posted and doesnt work is the same as on my website.I have cropped the second picture to see the details more easily.It happened a few milisec after the first one because I blasted away with the mark 2 at 8 fps. This picture was posted as part of the series of fighting see eagles. I have most of the series in my website and as you would understand there is no reason to make composites for the series !! I posted this photo like many others I have posted in photo.net for more than 5 years. Why should I make a composite ?? What would be the reason ? I have never been POW and I didnt post this photo expecting that. I posted for the web comunity to share my one in a life time wildlife experience. And by the way I wasn't on my own on the hide.This happened in Norway on the week of 22 January 2005. Another 2 other photographers shared the experience with me .

Vincent K. Tylor
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Miguel, these people have made up their mind. Just forget about them. Rod, how in the world you can say "I have spent a lot of time looking the the two pictures at his website and I would not have interpreted them to be sequential pictures." This statement is beyond comprehension. The lighting, the backgrounds are IDENTICAL in my opinion. In the first (POW) image what you see is just prior to contact of two birds, in the second image TWO birds are locked up. Hello out there. Thank you Miguel for taking the time to explain once again. Though it probably will not convince them. Their minds are already made up. Unbelievable!

Miguel Lasa
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Thank you Vincent :)

Marc G.
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa All this talk about directions and angles and blurs is completely erroneous." - Vincent K. Tylor.

All you are saying here, Vincent, is that Shawn is wrong - not WHY he's wrong. Shawn, at least, EXPLAINED his views, and did so with a fair display of knowledge.

This being said, and back to Shawn's point, whether he's right or wrong, I think people here are missunderstanding his point, and mixing two separate issues.

1st issue: Is this a composite ? The series leads me to believe that it is not a composite, and I have no reasons to doubt the photographer. (I don't think Shawn is saying that this is a composite, by the way - or is he...?)

2nd issue: Did the photographer perhaps just add a little motion blur on the wings of the attacking bird...? Shawn says he did. I personally can't tell for sure, and again, have no reason to doubt the photographer. But to be honest, I can not say for sure that Shawn is wrong. It DOES ***look*** like an added PShop blur, for the reasons Shawn described. Unfortunately, some real blurs can also look like PS blurs, especially at small size. So, I think the best would be for Miguel to upload a 300% detail; then we could perhaps be sure and put this second issue to rest as well.

Rod Sorensen
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I want to clarify a few things: 1. Vincent, the backgounds of the two pictures are NOT identical. They may be sequential pictures, but the backgrounds are NOT identical. And for what it's worth, I haven't made up my mind. I don't know anything about Shawn's expertise, but I'm hoping your judgment of him came after you saw and refuted his evidence, because the rest of us can't get his image to open. 2. I think Miguel's portfolio is awesome. I think he is an incredible photographer and artist. I believe it is more likely than not that this particular image has not been heavily manipulated. 3. As opposed to others, I would not be unhappy to be named POW and have to endure some scrutiny. Most of us that have raised questions about this image are not in any way trying to denigrate the photographer. What we are trying to do is ask the questions that are appropriate (perhaps even necessary and responsible) to ask in this era of digital technology. And if the image lives through that scrutiny and proves itself genuine, then both the image and photographer are further proven. I dare say that Miguel will be happier in the end if the discussion doesn't consist entirely of oohs and ahs for his image. 4. We don't have to agree with each other, but it would be nice to be civil and be careful when judging motives.

Vincent K. Tylor
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa "Finally, on area D, where it is most obvious, in my opinion, that the artist had cut away this bird, less so slightly below." Shawn Kearney Those are strong accusations [opinions]. If he wishes to in effect call Miguel untruthful, expect a strong reply countering that claim. "All you are saying here, Vincent, is that Shawn is wrong - not WHY he's wrong." Marc G. I cannot get into any of the details in his attachment that will not even open. In fact there is no need to look at this anyway. It proves nothing at all if you do not know exactly what angles these birds were flying at. There is already complete evidence here that this image is in fact genuine [opinion]. The second image in this series is all I needed to see. Study that carefully if you will. The background IS identical. The lighting is also identical. Two birds about to collide in the first image. Two (of the same) birds in complete contact in the second image. This scene is real in my opinion. The fact Miguel is a wildlife photographer (and not a Photoshop technician) and has already clarified specifically (several times now) that this is not a composite, as well as why he would not do that, what more do you want to hear/see from him?

Vincent K. Tylor
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa "..it seems to me that it could have been taken at an entirely different time.." "I have spent a lot of time looking the the two pictures at his website and I would not have interpreted them to be sequential pictures" Rod S. Look at the sloping background Rod, how you can come to any other conclusion, again is beyond comprehension in my opinion. These [seem to be] from the exact same shoot. The sloping hill, lighting, time of day, colors make this very clear [to me].

Vincent K. Tylor
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa "Did the photographer perhaps just add a little motion blur on the wings of the attacking bird...? ... I personally can't tell for sure, and again, have no reason to doubt the photographer". Marc G. Sounds like we are in agreement then.

Mary Ball
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Moderator note: Personal attacks and name calling is not allowed on this forum. Please refrain. I've edited out inflammatory statements. Points have been made and rather than beat it to death (and each other) please move on.

Marc G.
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa After a quick look at this jpg in PS at 300% up to 1200%, here are the additional impressions I can add:

1) I could see some sort of cloning or smudging marks on the bird's belly... Nothing major, it could be an imperfect removal of dust; or maybe the bird is pregnant, or drunk, or...

2) Apparently all these straight lines some of us had concerns about are not even absolutely straight, and they are broken in many places, interrupted by other small lines. It sure looks strange if it's a real motion blur, but at this point, it would seem to be too irregular for a Photoshop blur. PS blur would be composed of more repetitive motives and straighter lines in my opinion.

My concluson at this point would be that this is most likely not a PShop blur, although I still can't make sense of the blur I see here.

Secondary conclusion: Nature, and the laws of physics, and God, and Doug Burgess at night in his darkroom - all work in very mysterious ways...:-)

Marc G.
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa And one more thing: the attacking bird's "blurry" wing appears, surprisingly, fairly sharp in PS, at 400%. At any rate, it looks much sharper imo, than any motion blur generated in PS could ever look.

Carl Root
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa We're asked to accept a photoshop expert's opinion of this image, but there's still not enough credit given to the comments from people who actually shoot birds and understand their behavior. We're here to learn from experts and in this context, I'm listening to those who understand and shoot birds, not from PS experts who are fixated on minute artifacts from oversharpening, and who can't tell the difference between PS blur and motion blur.

Gavin Sterrett
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Wow!!!

Patrick Hudepohl
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa For people wondering about attachments, they don't seem to work when viewing the photograph directly, but they can be accessed when viewing the discussion in the forum.

Peter Kervarec
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa For all you critics out there, I defy you to produce a bird shot as good as this with or without PS. Having been a photographer for many years in all facets of photography, birds are without doubt one of the toughest subjects on earth! This argument has gone from physics to photoshop, expert opinion to downright amateur hyperbole. Miguel is a regular contributor on photonet with regular high rating images and the calibre of his work and portfolios = a fine artisan. I say bravo and 10 / 10 for Miguels talents.

Giuseppe Miriello
Bird's rushy natural behaivour it has been very intresting (as a previous poster pointed out) to read about bird's behaivour in their natural environment and to understand what kind of action might have been going there - i think many of us would like to know more.

As a personal feeling i think that shooting at 1/1000 or more could have frozen out the action but also could have washed away the sense of rush i gather from the image.

I wonder if the same shot - if perfectly freezed and sharp - would have had the same appeal or rather would have been looking flat due the long lense used the position of the birds into the frame.

In this case I rather prefer blurs: i think the image delivers the right amount of them to describe the action; Knowing wether the blurs are real, totally fake or real only in a certain amount is not making a real difference to my opinion, but rather i am pleased to see them as they help communicating the real event.

Stephanie Spears
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa There's a terrific shot, similiar in nature to this one, without the attacking bird in National Georgraphic "100 Best Wildlife Pictures" Vol 3, page 139. The photo, taken by Klaus Nigge, is of 2 Stellar Sea-eagles fighting over beached salmon. It's one of my all time favorite eagle photos and if you get a chance to see it, I think you'll go "wow"!

Stephanie Spears
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Sorry.. the photo is also found in the March 1999 edition of National Geographic Magazine.

Dave Nitsche
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa My wife looked at this and said "wow, that's amazing". I then said there was a discussion at to whether it was photoshopped or not. She said "whats photoshop?". I then explained it to her a bit. She then said "who cares?". She is the general "photo buying" public by the way. We have a house full. I know we are here to discuss the image, but lately the POW seems to be an inquisition into the authenticity of an image more so than the merits of the image itself. This is a great image. If Miguel says it's original so be it... Just my thoughts. Congrats on the POW.

Landrum Kelly
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I once saw a picture of a peregrine falcon diving at hundreds of miles per hour. It bore no resemblance to a bird, more of a sliver of something cutting through the air--and it was almost perfectly in focus. The current photo looks authentic all the way around. The bird being attacked is clearly looking right up at her attacker, and Vince's points on background are well-taken. Stephanie makes a valid point about the shadow on the attacked bird's left wing. I can't imagine what other evidence we need to establish this photo's authenticity. Miguel, thank you for an incredible photo.

John Kelly
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Awesome capture! 7/7 I certainly can't see any manipulation. Too many comments to read so sorry if I repeat some elses comment! I don't know much about Eagles either. My interpretation of this shot is that the attacking eagle has just entered flight from the mound on the left of the picture, perhaps just out of shot. It is possible it's wings are traveling in the upward direction hence the odd blurred effect. The eagle on the right will no doubt have been trying to prevent the confrontation by facing up to the attacking eagle, possibly turning itself to show off it's size so may have been showing it's large profile side on. Seeing the other eagle has initiated the attack it has no option but to make itself look even larger and at the same time rotate to meet the attack! However you interpret it the lighting and colours captured here are superb as is the action! The overall image is unique insight into the life of these creatures! Congratulations on the well deserved "Photo of The Week" Miguel John

Shawn Kearney
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa In my humble observation, nothing ever moves in a straight line. Furthermore, in real motion blur, there is a forward edge when the object is moving relatively straight, this is caused by the fact that the object exposes over again where it had been, making it relatively more sharp in the front, this illustrates direction. The only time when it is soft like this is when the object multiple different headings over the exposure period. (see http://www.adpix.biz/sudwind/singer/Rolex2001/caseitblur.JPG from) If we had no idea which direction the "attacking" bird was heading, we could not tell because their is no edge.

Shawn Kearney
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa (just to clear things up, motion blur is caused by consecutive exposures over a period of time and is not caused by the obtical system, as it is in depth of field)

Shawn Kearney
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa another example: http://www.gridlock.com/bmxgallery2/StoneageCollection/Fremont_BMX/kev_at_speed.JPG

Marc G.
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Shawn, in all seriousness, I can't see exactly what your 2 links are supposed to be helpful for or to demonstrate: both of them are executed with panning technique, which results in entirely "messy" blurry effects. Miguel's picture uses no panning at all, and can't therefore be compared to these 2 examples. Miguel's blurry bird, by the way, is still sharper than any amount of PS blur: just try to use Photoshop's motion blur on a fairly sharp part of this bird, and you'll see what I mean - at 400% viewing and above. Finally, you mention again about this blur being a straight line - whereas it isn't exactly straight once you enlarge it...

Landrum Kelly
"By their fruits shall ye know them." Shawn, I realize that you have a pet theory (i.e., that the photo has been falsified), but I would adjust that theory to fit the facts. There is knowledge of Photoshop, and there is knowledge of Photoshop, and ultimately no one cares how many courses you have taken in a field. I know, because I have seven letters after my name, and I don't even care; and it is absolutely certain that no one else cares or is going to care what my credentials are--nor should they. Degrees and formal study are irrelevant unless they come to fruition in good work.

Andreas Weber
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa This is a great shot! When Miguel Lasa says that this one is not manipulated I believe him! However, this shot LOOKS artifical - but that may change if you see the print...

Carl Root
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Dave, "I know we are here to discuss the image, but lately the POW seems to be an inquisition into the authenticity of an image more so than the merits of the image itself." Authenticity is key to this genre of photography. Photographers have been doing all sorts of creative things and the darkrooms and in the studio, yet when Art Wolfe offered his infamous 'migrations' photographs, there was a hue and cry because it was obvious to everyone that despite disclaimers in small print, the intent of the images were to deceive the viewer into thinking that the formations of the birds and animals reflected actual behavior. If you glance at this picture and see two birds in dynamic poses and you like the light composition and color, you could just as well be looking at a painting and it wouldn't matter. But if you're looking at the interaction of these birds and trying to UNDERSTAND exactly what is happening here, you want to know if the behavior is real or the imaginings of a photographic artist who may or may not know anything about bird behavior.

June Ranson
enough PS / non PS discussion IMHO it's been settled that Miguel used only minor cleanup on this photo, which is an incredible right-place-right-time shot. Well done, and I'm not the only envious one. Lannie K- "Degrees and formal study are irrelevant unless they come to fruition in good work"... Your comment should be framed and on the wall of every 'Professional' in every occupation! Miguel- my question is, what sort of blind did you use, that could hold 3 or more people, and how did you survive 8 hours or more per day for many days in there?? How did you keep your hands warm enough in the freezing temperatures? How far did you have to hike with your gear to set up this 'camp'? Congratulations on getting pictures that made it worthwhile, I'm sure it isn't always so.

Dave Nitsche
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I use to be a member of "nature photographers" on the net so I understand well about the authenticity needed for nature images. But Carl, the author and other birders have confirmed it is authentic behavior early in this thread. What more is needed? Move on and talk about the image not whether some software was used to create it. . Half way through this thread Mary said... "Let's not turn this into one of those old and tired discussions about Manipulated or not Manipulated..." I agree totally and as of late she should put that at the head of the thread every week.

Janice M
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Congratulations on the absolutely spectacular photo. WOW! My dream is to be able to take such shots. As for the comments that one of the birds may not be exactly in 100% focus, you should just do what I do when I'm trying to take such photos: Simply ask the subject to pose, or at least try to hold still just a little longer! ;) ;) ;) :) (Yea, right! -- Get it???) It's OK........one of the reasons to share photos with photo.net people is to solicit opinions. OK? OK!

Edward Woods
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Miguel, Congratulations on a beautiful photograph to add to your wonderful web site. Given the controversy over image manipulation that this particular image stimulates it might be appropriate to say that this photograph is truly life imitating art. I am sure there are many that say that this shot could not happen until it happens to them. Setting that all aside I think that you handled the lighting extremely well and captured a truly "decisive" moment filled with rage and emotion between two warriors. I have great appreciation for one that pays his nickel over and over and takes the chance until such a glorious moment arrives for an instant in time never to occur the same way again. All the best. Andy

Landrum Kelly
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Since untranslated foreign language posts are being deleted, let me translate Juan Ojembarrena's to the best of my ability: Impressive. This is one of those photos that, when you get it, you feel satisfied, and [feel] that you could return home. (idiomatic, not literal.) Opportunities like this are very difficult to get. Congratulations.

Dominique Dodge-Wan
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Congratulations on your POW. It is an outstanding nature shot, one that you captured through patience and skillful use of the camera. Well done.

Guy Scrivner
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Miguel,

Congratulations on your POW. This is an outstanding image (note I said image and not photograph).

I once had to deal with inquisitors, defamers and vulgar comments about my own work. I remember when I would search for hours for the perfect scene, wait additional hours for the perfect light and then still not expose on the film what I had seen in the minds eye. I would make up the difference in the darkroom when I printed the image. Some people called this cheating. Some people said I had manipulated the image. I said to he_ _ with them and went on with my work. In the end, the images will speak for themselves and to the eyes and emotions of the viewers.



Bong Shau Fui
Good technics? Where's your own picture with 'good technics'? Simply Awesome! Gosh, there's even people who commented on Miguel's technics, asking why not he used 1/1000 instead 1/500. These seemed to be the ultra experienced university photography professor 'teaching' the young inexperience Miguel... Hm, it's just too easy said than done. Just wonder how Miguel managed to take 2 shots, 1 the attacking eagle, the other, the defending eagle, posed so nicely to make this 'composite'?! If that's the case, I believe it'd be even harder to create the 'composite' :) To those, show us your eagle shots, in such a freezing ground, stayed up till 8 hours, if only you have the ability to even react to such a scene. Don't show us the icy background only, ok?

Lex Jenkins
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I have to wonder whether some of you who find fault with this photo - whether to nitpick over motion blur or to cry "Photoshop!!!" - have any idea how difficult and expensive it is to photograph birds. Or maybe you *do* know how difficult and expensive it is and you're just no good at it or can't afford the equipment. I have the privelege and benefit of living right on a lakeshore and I've never come anywhere near the quality of Miguel's portfolio. I don't have the dedication it takes to wait motionless for hours - days - in the cold. I don't have the budget for the kind of equipment it takes to get this quality. And I don't have the timing even if I did have the equipment. If you doubt that equipment makes a difference I'll be happy to show you my mediocre photos of our local waterfowl. I can walk right up to them, within 10 yards - often closer - and still can't get this kind of sharpness, contrast and color saturation because my lenses can't meet today's high standards for wildlife photography. And I had to make up for my lousy timing by buying a faster camera. But it still won't help much because I lack the dedication it takes to wait for shots like this. Excellent portfolio, Miguel. Just keep taking great photos.

Shawn Kearney
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Lex Wrote:

Or maybe you *do* know how difficult and expensive it is and you're just no good at it or can't afford the equipment.

Now Lex, I think this is a bit of a sweeping statement which is not bound to anything of substance, but rather an assumption that those who critique differently than you are merely jealous.

I for one don't really care that the motion blur was added, which, I still think it was even after taking a second, more open eye'd look. However, on this second, more open eye'd look, I must convince I am less certain.

However, I think that this does come close to allowing the subject dominate the image, regardless of the subject, is this an effective image. Going back on topic to the image itself, I say that it is not, and that the eagles ARE what make photograph, rather than allowing the photograph to stand on it's own.

IMHO this image doesn't say a lot about eagles at all. One looks like a claw attached to a blur - take away the claw, it would be hard to tell what it is out of context, this, I think, detracts from the intent to document the scene accurately.

Second, the composition is non-existing. It's two birds. The image isn't about composition, however, so, I am not going to dwell on that. However, I think that it may be more obvious of a document if the photographer chose to wait a few moments into the future. Mind you, this is not an admission that "I could do better", or a critique of the photographer, but rather the image itself. A distinction I would expect someone of your ability and experience to make.

In closing, I am lacking too much information for this image to be documentary, and too little context to form an emotional, subjective response. The composition is uncomfortable, and perhaps that does go towered the situation - however, I do not think that alone holds up enough to make an image.

Bottom line, I feel this photograph relies entirely too much on the subject.

Miguel Lasa
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Mr Kearney This is a wildlife photo of a very rare event. To get a similar photo you need to go to Scandinavia (this type of eagles don't live anywere in the world apart from a few in Scotland ) Then you need to set up a hide at -10c and wait for days to get the eagles down if you are lucky. Even if they are down you need good light to capture the moment. Seeing them fighting is even more difficult and even more difficult to capture it because with the zoom lens your view is limited and the atacking eagle cames from nowhere, anytime, anywhere. Is very easy from your armchair to do such analyisis of the photo !! I posted the photo to share an experience I had with this birds and to document such a rare event in wildlife.

Les Barstow
Wow. All I have to add is: astounding photo, Miguel. Don't let all the PS critique get you down - the wing-on view of the attacking eagle is a bit difficult for the eye to digest, and at X kph, even 1/500s isn't good enough to freeze that motion. I find Shawn's critiques to be unfounded; compositionally, the image shows proper balance and placement, its main subject shows emotion and power and is the subject of the camera's focus, and the secondary object (the attacking eagle) is by no means so out of focus that it's only a claw attached to a blur. The lighting is magnificent. Submit this to a contest and get yourself some (more) recognition and cash for this amazing photo.

Dennis Jones
Miguel Mr. Kearney 'folio is non existant on PN...Apparently, he can talk the talk...just can't walk the walk...

Your next photo trip to shoot birds, be sure and take the studio lights and reflectors so you can get the composition and lighting right...;-)

Your 'folio speaks for itself... Wildlife photography just not as easy as it looks...especially high speed moving subjects...Well done.

Lex Jenkins
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa "Bottom line, I feel this photograph relies entirely too much on the subject." ================================ Shawn, normally I believe that in photo critiques one should confine oneself to critiquing the photo and not the comments of others. But this comment of yours beggars description. "...relies entirely too much on the subject..."? And the alternative is... what? Utter nonsense.

Walter Tatulinski
Miguel... I have only read though some of the above comments. I believe that your photograph depicts an actual natural encounter of the two eagles. In other words, it is not a composite. I would consider the comments against this opinion to be actually compliments. You see, this photograph is SO good that people can not believe that it is real! Perhaps this has already been mentioned. As I have said, I did not read all the comments. Regards.

Shawn Kearney
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa "What is left?" Well, content for one. The difference from a photograph and a snapshot is that the result transcends the subject and stands alone as an *object*. Fine Art and Documentary Images explain something greater than the subject by itself in the time which it was taken. IMO, this image does neither. And, this is not a mere snapshot. However, I do not get the impression of what an eagle *is* or what they *do* rather what the photographer wanted the Eagle to do, and used cropping and possibly manipulation to get there - it seems too idealistic to be a document, too uninspiring to be fine art. Provided this is not a composite, if this photograph did more than "tell" we likely wouldn't have been so distracted. Honestly, my suspect of this photograph was the VERY first thing I noticed, as it was with a few others. This is evidence of a poor image, regardless the techniques involved, which only says to me the photographer is patient and enjoys cold weather, and very little about anything else, or the technology he may or may not have used, this says little to me also. As far as the apples and oranges-type statement, a photograph works or it doesn't. Period. Regardless the subject. I don't care how long it took, how cold it was, or how technically hard it is to capture. If this image only can be appreciated by fellow wildlife photographers (or those who have tried) then it may be a success as a wildlife picture but it fails as an image in whole. I won't beat the topic any further here. Feel free to email me.

Vincent K. Tylor
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa What is really left here Shawn is that you are in a very small minority. Sure, this capture does not work for you personally. Fine, it's been "manipulated" in your estimation. However, in my estimation, your posted reasons for those points of view simply do not carry any weight at all. Your arguments are very weak in my opinion. I was very open-minded to your points of view, but after examining the evidence, am simply not at all convinced. Most others share this same viewpoint. I hope that you too were as open to what the facts actually pointed to, but am not so sure about that. Thanks for another side though. Has been interesting.

Cezary Galaj
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa PERFECT !!

Elliot Krasnopoler
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Ive seen it said again and again that this photo was put through PS, but if ou look at it, it becomes clear it wasnt. One thing people keep saying about the birds is they are not the same size. Your eye is playing tricks on you. If you measure both birds from beak to tail (assuming very little or none of the bottoms bird's tail is hidden) they are the same. On my monitor both birds measure 7 cm. Second, about the high shutter speed and the fact the image is blurred. Eagles dive at about 100mph. That is 44 meters per second or 4400 cm per second. 8.8cm per 1/500 of a second. The diving bird is moving slower than that but nonetheless it is entirely possible for the bird to be blurred. Do a little math, this image wasnt manipulated.

Brad B.
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa Incredible capture, this image will sell if it hasn't already. No PS manipulation IMO. Great! 7/7

Narendra Bhagwat
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa This is an outstandingly most stricking wildlife photo. One get to such even once in a lifetime probably, photographing the perfect moment is next to impossible! Congrats Miguel. You are more than an NG photographer! Keep it up!

Laurent Baig
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa To answer the elves question: I don't think the attacking bird needs to be sharp. We see an attacking bird and we see a sharp bird raising it's wings in defense. It is sharp. Also, since it takes the majority of space in the frame, the other bird simply gives us a reason to understand why the bird on the right is in the position it is. The attacking bird no more needs to be in focus than the background. Indeed, had the 'tog used more DOF, then both birds might be soft. My eye is drawn toward the defensive bird first because it is bigger in the frame. The apparant size or the sameness in size doesn't matter. With the wings spread, the bird on the right occupies more real estate in the image. Thus, it is the main focus. Anything else plays just a supporting role and therefore needs not be crisp. Great photo!

Shay Browning
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I think this photo sucks!!! Only because I suck and I'm not that good. Anyway what laurent says is right, the subject here is the reacting bird and therefore is the main focus. As far as manipulation is concerned, my opinion is everything is up for grabs. Who in the fuck made up the rules about photogrophy anyway and said "don't break these rules son or I'll..." Some i diot that's who.

M. Hatapkapulu
Response to Eagle attack by Miguel Lasa I would like it sharp as well, and also the tip feathers of the bird which is being attacked. in my opinion faster shutter speed would solve all problems. greetings. :D

Miguel Lasa
Eagle attack 2 juvenile sea eagles fighting 1dm2,ef500

Next Image >>