Photographing Osprey Catching Fish

Patience is indeed a virtue when photographing nature subjects, and is especially true when waiting for specific events such as photographing osprey catching fish.

This article features a small selection of images captured this summer at Hendrie Valley. All were captured hand-held with a Nikon 1 V3 and a 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens. I shot in Manual, using AF-C with subject tracking at either 10 fps or 20 fps, and Auto ISO 160-3200.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

The first selection of 7 photographs are from the same AF-C run and capture an osprey from the time that it hit the water when catching a fish, becoming airborne, and flying off with its prize. This is one of those moments that photographers often hope of capturing, and keeps them coming back day after day.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1000
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-720
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-900
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-900
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-900
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1000
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-900

The following two images are from a different AF-C run. I especially like the lighting in the second image.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-900
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1000

Sometimes a complete surprise happens as seen in the image below.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 272mm, efov 734mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1100

Who would have thought that an osprey fishing in a pond feeding Lake Ontario would capture a large goldfish?

The last two images are of an osprey that flew so close to me that it more than filled the frame of my Nikon 1 V3.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 272mm, efov 734mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-280

It was one of those moments where all I had time to do was react to the photographic opportunity. I caught the osprey flying by out of the corner of my eye, wheeled around to get my framing, and grabbed a few images.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 272mm, efov 734mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-250

While I didn’t get a huge volume of images of osprey catching fish this summer, the ones I did manage to get were worth the many hours spent at Hendrie Valley.

Technical Note:
All images were captured hand-held using a Nikon 1 V3 and 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens. All photographs in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 11, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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4 thoughts on “Photographing Osprey Catching Fish”

  1. Hello Thomas, when I see your pictures, I’m just thrilled. Congratulations. All this with Nikon 1 !. Hope Nikon does not strike this series. It is a Google translation. Sorry.

    1. Hi Rolf,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the images – thanks for your positive comment! There’s never any need to apologize when using a Google translation – we are always thrilled to get comments from readers all over the world!

      I also hope that the Nikon 1 system continues for many years to come as I love using it!

      Tom

  2. Hi Tom,

    Fantastic sequence of shots from diving in to catch fish and flying off with the prize! Sure made that trip and the long wait (how long exactly was it?) well worth it. I especially like images 7 and 9. Image 9 looks three dimensional with the horizontal water reflections providing a perfect background to the patterns on the outspread wings.

    Oggie

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