I'm not Done With Short Eared Owls Yet!! :-)

pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,696 moderator
edited March 31, 2018 in Wildlife

I found a few more short eared owls last night, and a blue moon as well

ISO 5000 f8 1/2000th 1DX MK II Tamron 150-6000 at 600.

ISO 8000 f8 1/2000th same camera and lens

ISO 200 1/500th f8

And looking the other way at the same exposure a couple minutes later ISO 200 1/500th f8

Comments and criticisms heartily encouraged

Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin


  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,787 moderator

    Oh wow!

    That BIF is to die for! Wonderful wing position, perfect background, exposure and processing impeccable.

    The owl on the ground looks almost like a little penguin, and just as cute. Technicals as good as above.

    Moon shot is almost perfectly aligned with the foreground elements. The light clouds almost suspend the subject (through proper timing).

    The final image is a great example of exposure comparison between luminous subjects.

    No kidding, these are some of your best!

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,696 moderator
    edited April 1, 2018

    Thank you for the kind words Ziggy, but I can't take responsibility for the lighting in the first shot, as I cannot direct the owls flight path. They are hard to follow at times, especially in the low light. When you get a owl in flight coming right at you and backlit to boot, you've been very fortunate. I really did not like the white gravel background, indeed I considered swapping it out, but didn't really think the image was strong enough. I think it will print fairly decent as the noise will be less evident in print. The rim light in the wings really sets it off, I think.

    The second image was just good luck - that little owl was sitting right in the ditch along the road, and waited for me to get my camera out of the bag and start shooting, before it decided finally to depart.

    I was so busy looking for owls near sunset, that I was actually stunned when I looked at the eastern horizon and noticed the moon rising in the third image posted. It was a very pastel scene, with extremely subtle detail in the moon, to my eye. I just had to shoot it several times. Handheld of course, I was set up for birds, but I knew the blue moon was coming. Fortunately I shot this last night on March 30, as it is raining cats and dogs here in western Indiana tonight March 31,and we are going to see no moon tonight.

    The setting sun was shot almost by turning around and facing west - 18 minutes later according the the metadata in the files, but I was intrigued to see the same exposure data. I shouldn't have been so surprised, as I was shooting in Manual mode at 1/500th f8 in auto ISO, but the ISO was 200 for both frames, set by the camera.

    One interesting fact that I realized, all four frames were shot as single frames - even the setting sun was a single frame, not an HDR which is what I usually feel is needed for most sunset images. A quick trip through the RAW engine in LR CC, and done.

    Taz asked a while back if I was pleased with the Tamron 150-500 G2 lens - I think these frames speak to its optical quality.

    I don't know if the owls will remain here much longer, or if they will stay the summer. I will try to find that out as the days go by. I have really been very fortunate to see them for several sessions this winter.

    A few more frames from this session can be seen here - https://pathfinder.smugmug.com/Animals/Birds/i-Mjb96s9

    Here's another backlit owl with rim light in its wings from last January

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,787 moderator

    The last image doesn't work as well viewed small. Viewed larger makes the background smoother and the owl's eye pops.
    A great image for printing large.

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • StumblebumStumblebum Registered Users Posts: 8,480 Major grins

    It has been a fun series!

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Administrators Posts: 14,234 moderator
  • willard3willard3 Registered Users Posts: 2,580 Major grins

    I like both the owl bif fotos.

    It is better to die on you feet than to live on your knees.....Emiliano Zapata
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