PDA

View Full Version : Whoooooooo loves owls?



Kevin McRae
11-28-2011, 11:17 PM
I was at the Fort Whyte Center near Winnipeg on Sunday and watched the captive burrowing owls for quite a while. It's sad to see their numbers declining across the Canadian Prairies. I hope they begin to recover soon. I'm going to try hard to locate a wild burrowing owl this summer as well as a black footed ferret which coincidentally both use prairie dog burrows in Grasslands National Park. ;)

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/burrowingowl.jpg

I searched for great horned owls at Fort Whyte but I wasn't able to locate any. Today I decided to go to Oak Hammock Marsh and search for Snowy Owls. Another birder in the parking lot gave me directions to where he sited one outside of Oak Hammock. Luckily for me I spotted the owl a few kilometres away from where I was told.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/snowyowl.jpg

I photographed a Great Grey Owl last spring near the Whiteshell.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/greyowl.jpg

Here is a Great Horned Owl we saw near Grasslands National Park this summer.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc207/KevinMcRae/greath2.jpg

I find owls one of the hardest species to photograph. They're secretive and hard to find as it is let alone trying to photography these flighty animals. The above shots are the best I could do. Usually the closest I can get is 30-50 meters.

Any owl tips?

Lungelarry
11-29-2011, 11:42 AM
A really long lens..........Just seeing these birds is a big treat,getting good pics,tough...I,d say you did pretty good.

Marko
11-29-2011, 03:39 PM
I quite like shot 2 here. Good eye sharpness in shot 1.
Some general tips imo:
1 - always focus on the eyes :)
2 - For bird shots I'll usually want shutter speeds in the 1/500 to 1/1000 range (when possible of course).
There was room to have upped the shutter speed and/or aperture by manipulating the ISO in shot 2. The eyes could have been even sharper and the white area around the birds face (clipped) could have been saved.
3- Check your histogram on trickier exposures.
4 - Practice. Bird photography is hard.

Hope that may help!

aubintbay
11-29-2011, 08:22 PM
Nice set! i like that 1st one.

Kevin McRae
11-30-2011, 08:45 PM
Thanks guys.

I appreciate the help Marko. I'm going to see if I can find some more next week.

asnow
11-30-2011, 10:10 PM
I also like that first one.

Hillbillygirl
12-02-2011, 07:07 AM
That first one is a real cutie, and the Snowy is quite nice also.
I know many may not like this advice, but we use flash even in bright sunlight, (as do many wildlife photographers, especially avian). It would have filled in that Snowy Owls shaded areas quite nicely, and brought out some detail. If you are looking at mostly wildlife/birds then an investment in a Better Beamer or similar flash extender would be one of your best cheap investments, along with a light softener such as Gary Fong Lightsphere, for closer shots.

susan
12-06-2011, 05:39 PM
I quite like shot 2 here. Good eye sharpness in shot 1.
Some general tips imo:
1 - always focus on the eyes :)
2 - For bird shots I'll usually want shutter speeds in the 1/500 to 1/1000 range (when possible of course).
There was room to have upped the shutter speed and/or aperture by manipulating the ISO in shot 2. The eyes could have been even sharper and the white area around the birds face (clipped) could have been saved.
3- Check your histogram on trickier exposures.
4 - Practice. Bird photography is hard.

Hope that may help!

Kevin -- what a wonderful opportunity you have to catch these beautiful birds with your lens!
Marko - Thank you for taking the time to break it down for those of us who want to photograph birds but aren't in the know of how to do it!