Early Bird - Juv. Bald Eagle @ Conowingo Dam, Maryland (+ full bird photo)
I made it there really early this day (@6:40am, after a ~90 mile drive to get there), and found this youngster in a tree, on a low branch :D He (or she) was eating a fish, and let me photograph em for about 5 minutes, I took 80 raw+jpgs in that 5 mins. With that much time I think I tried bracketing, and some different metering modes. This was spot metered and -1EV. (I shoot mostly in matrix metering mode. I adjust EV a lot, and occassionally shoot in bracket mode - usually only in 2 or 3 shot modes...) I was possibly about 35 feet away from them, but I'm not great with distances so it might be 50 feet or something.
The chance for a good closeup was great, the light from the sunrise was an added bonus.
(Juvenile Bald Eagle along the Susquehanna River in Maryland.)
I've just started getting in to podcasts, and found Tips from the top floor. They've even got a flickr group: www.flickr.com/groups/tfttf/ You can find cool shows on photography with iTunes or something like Google's Reader
Back to my exposure settings... Some people shoot with + or - EV to protect highlights or compensate for bright backgrounds. I try to do that, but in low light I also use about -1 EV so the camera doesn't over expose trying to make it brighter than it really is out.
To help understand cameras' metering systems, I found this page very helpful. Be sure to look at the images from reflected metering and how the white and black plates are more gray than white or black. added So, without buying an incident meter, if you know which way the camera will get it wrong in metering, you can compensate a bit with + or - EV. It's not the same as using incident metering and setting exposure manually but it helps for using a program mode for metering like matrix.