13.10.2017

Photographing sea eagles in Western Australia

written by:
Philip Thurston

13.10.2017

Photographing sea eagles in Western Australia

Hi, my name is Philip Thurston, I’m an Australian Photographer from the south coast of NSW. To me, Photography, is about vision and foresight. The process of imagining an image and then setting out to capture it, is often what fuels my motivation to get out into the field. Living on the coast, one of my favourite subjects to shoot is the impressive sea eagle. These majestic birds have always fascinated me and captured my attention whenever they elusively show up. The bird life along the coastal regions of the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, is vibrant and lively, but coming across a sea eagle is always a breathtaking moment! I can notice one from a mile away, their shape and characteristics are unmistakable! Every time it happens, I stop everything I’m doing and just stare transfixed at the way they soar across the skies, and if I’m lucky enough I will be in position to capture their beautiful underbellies as they glide overhead.

Not far from my home is an island that can be accessed by wading across a shallow river mouth, it’s surrounded by gorgeous reef and swirling sandy beaches, but my favourite part about it, is the pair of sea eagles that call it home. It’s not uncommon to have the entire place with no one else around, with makes it a great little getaway from the business of life and a spot that I can just go and enjoy the simplicity of being in nature, with my camera of course.. 🙂

Often I will wait for hours, just to get a glimpse of these amazing creatures, as they can be quite elusive, each time I venture out there I dream of catching one in hunting mode, diving down right next to me and scooping up an unsuspecting prey! On one particular occasion, I did photograph two males, battling over the territory, which was an impressive sight, the fight went down a little out of my telephoto reach though, but to witness it alone was just magnificent. Sometimes we have to be happy to just see things, not everything has to be documented, it would be nice to have had an 800mm in my quiver, but that’s something I’m progressing towards. I’ll often return home, or the light will fade out without achieving the particular photo that I had imagined, but that’s what I love about photography, it keeps me coming back again and again, because you just never know what is going to happen the next time you set out into the field.. and in terms of gear, there is always a better piece of equipment to work towards achieving a better shot, and Manfrotto have a carry bag to comfortably get out into the field with it!

When I venture out, I’m often simply equipped, using the Manfrotto M-30 Pro Light Messenger bag, containing a Manfrotto Monopod, for steady shots, a Canon 7D Mark 2 with a 100-400mm lens – to get a tight shot of the action, a 16-35 mil wide lens – in case the sun puts on a beautiful display of light, the Osmo Pro – for stabilised footage for telling the story around my shots, my laptop and drives for dumping cards and doing light edits on the fly and a few other essentials that all pack neatly into the M-30 Messenger. It’s truly one of the handiest carry bags I’ve ever used and I often don’t leave home without it!

Philip Thurston

Australian

Philip’s passion for photography has developed from a lifestyle of living by the ocean and his adventurous spirit. “My goal with Thurston Photo is to create imagery and literature that provokes positive thought and inspires people to see life from a new perspective. Learning from my own experiences, I invest energy into inspiring others to live a purpose driven and meaningful life, to activate dreams, potential and purpose that’s worth pursuing wholeheartedly. I’ll happily spend hours straight in the ocean or spontaneously launch myself into the wild in hopes of encountering and capturing this beautiful world in a new and exciting way.”

Read more about Thurston Photo at www.thurstonphoto.com/pages/about

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