Photos With Nop and Dave: Frozen Moments

By | December 1, 2010
From Xplor: December 2010/January 2011

It takes an extreme photographer to capture extreme wildlife. Fortunately, Nop Paothong has the eye of an eagle and the stubbornness of a Missouri mule. Follow Nop’s advice to take great eagle photos.

Chill Out—Nop says the colder, the better. “Really cold,” he emphasizes. Missouri is a popular winter stop for bald eagles, so when temperatures plummeted below freezing, Nop hurried to Clarksville, a town along the Mississippi River. There, he was astounded to find more than 700 eagles busy feeding. Although his camera was soon encased in ice and ice crystals kept freezing his eyes shut, Nop’s thick down jacket allowed him to keep shooting photographs.

Stay Cool—Taking great photos takes patience and plenty of shots. Eagles can dive at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. When they’re feeding, prepare for quick movements. Nop’s patience netted the photo you see here, as a female quickly gulped down a fish and leapt into flight from an ice floe.

Nop photographed eagles for three weeks straight, shooting more than 10,000 photos. Later he edited those down to about 2,000 keepers. Nop is serious about taking great wildlife pictures—he’s worn out the shutter in his camera twice!

To see more of Nop’s photos, go to

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This Issue's Staff

David Besenger
Bonnie Chasteen
Chris Cloyd
Peg Craft
Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Chris Haefke
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Kevin Lanahan
Kevin Muenks
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole Leclair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Alicia Weaver
Cliff White
Kipp Woods