Action shots of golden eagles do not come easily. They don’t feel obliged to follow the script for our movie most times, so filming them can be seat-of-the-pants. My experience with wildlife photography in general was a big help. The biggest help was Ardak, the master eagle falconer we stayed with. Without his significant help and cooperation, along with Bek and his assistant guide Jupar, we we not have obtained any pictures or footage for our movie.
Our two great assistants in action.
Oops, wrong photo, sorry about that!
Bek up early, making sure all of our equipment was in the car and we were ready to find Ardak. That is the fox that Ardak killed one day prior to be used for filming and to train the eagle.
Bek helping put the GoPro on the eagle
Bek being the decoy to get our proper angle for filming. You can see the GoPro on the eagle’s back.
Bek helping get some shots when I was busy getting video footage
Jupar helping set up the tripod
Jupar helping with the eagle at the end of the day’s shoot
Bek and Jupar helping film an interview with Ardak in his house
Once we identified the place to film by the angle of the sun (all pictures and video for the movie are with natural light) and Ardak’s input, he let the eagle loose.
Before it was released the eagle would chirp excitedly knowing it would be hunting
The following set of photos give you an idea of how the eagle approaches its prey. Enjoy!
Slow motion video of Ardak releasing his eagle as it flies past us
We put a GoPro on the eagle’s back and obtained some great footage for the documentary
Flying into a rabbit
Soaring after a rabbit
None of this would have happened without the master eagle falconer named Ardak. Click on his picture below to learn more about him.