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One of the highlights of our annual White & Wild Japan photo tour is undoubtedly photographing eagles on floating pack ice off the coast of Hokkaido. This is one of them, the white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla).

The wingspan of an adult is about 200 to 250 cm (80 to 98 inches). Because of this large wingspan, it’s often called flying barn door. The white-tailed eagle is closely related to the well-known American bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).

For photography that huge wingspan is a problem. The wings are great, but when they’re all spread out the bird takes up a lot of space in the frame. As a result, other parts of the bird, such as the head, the beak and the talons, are very small in the shot. Every year participants on this trip are struggling with this problem. My advice: don’t be afraid to crop the wings. As long as you make it look like a deliberate decision (if you crop off a tiny bit it will look like poor framing), it can work. And that’s exactly what I did here - by framing this white-tailed eagle very tight I was able to better show the head, the beak and the impressive talons.

If you're interested in joining me on this trip to photograph snow monkeys, Japanese cranes, Steller's sea eagles and whooper swans, please check out my website for more information:

Squiver Photo Tours & Workshops

Both 2014 tours are already fully booked, but you can already reserve a spot for the 2015 tour.

Hope to see you there!


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©2013 Marsel van Oosten, All Rights Reserved. This image is not available for use on websites, blogs or other media without the explicit written permission of the photographer.

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