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Old Nov 22, 2004, 11:03 PM   #1
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After over a year of searching, I finally got to see a Snowy Owl in the wild. Two, actually. Both were immature. It was a wonderful day. This immature (gender unknown) liked to sit on fence posts and look out over the dunes of a beach. Unfortunate the day was overcast, so I had no shots of a good blue sky or wonderful pink sunset light. But hey, it's my first SNOWY!!! I'm still very happy.

This is a full frame shot.

Camera: 10D 600mm f4 + 1.4x TC, 1/180, f5.6, RAW, tripod
PhotoShop: Canon RAW, white balance, slight exposure bump, touch of contrast and sharpening, reduce.
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Old Nov 22, 2004, 11:37 PM   #2
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great job eric! that's awesome!

very nice shot too! impressive full frame!

it could probably use a bit of sharpening..

i dunno...the white background might be better than a blue...lol, you may think i'm crazy, but it gives more the feel of snow than a blue would..i think

Vito
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 12:10 AM   #3
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The nice thing about the blue sky is that the white bird would stand out more. But just a few clouds is more interesting than either none or completely overcast.

And it would have meant more light.

What I found, actually, is that there isn't much detail where the bird is mostly white (like the shoulder of the wing.) There just wasn't anything noticable there, even in the full sized image. I can try giving it a bit more sharpening, but I dont' think there is much to draw out. I think the feathers just blended together too well. I shouldn't have lost much detail 'cause of ISO200 (I think) and that shutter speed.

Eric
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 12:25 AM   #4
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I know you've worked hard to finally get this image of a wild snowy, Eric, so just let me say congratulations! Great shot too. Fullframe - see, all that money spent on that lens really is worthwhile...

I've got overcast skies for days where I am. It gets kind of boring after awhile. I'm with you on the wish for some blue sky as a BG for the owl here. Now, if your ethics allow you to experiment with this, it looks like the sky would be easy to select and substitute a proper blue sky in its place...
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 10:12 AM   #5
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Nice shot. Looks likethe bird was board and youput it to sleep :lol:

Great Grays have made a appearance around North Bay Ontario, unusual for them to come this far south this early in the year. Still a 3 hourdrive north of me. :roll:But it would be nice to make the trip.
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 10:30 AM   #6
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For a Great Grey, I'd be in my car already. I've seen one in captivity once... what a spectacular bird.

About 5 or so years back one actually came down to western Mass for a few weeks. I didn't get to see it, but I know many who did. I'm always on the lookout.

I'm glad you all liked the shot. I've got some more interesting poses to edit up tonight. This was just to do one and get it out there. I view it as more of a "classic" pose.

Eric
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 11:49 AM   #7
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Congrats on finally getting the bird, eric. It's a nice feeling when that sort of things happens. Glad to hear you got more too and look forwards to seeing them.
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 1:56 PM   #8
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Congrats on getting this awesome bird. It must feel very rewarding to finally get one after lots of effort.

Amazing you were able to get so close and he is just snoozing away.

Thanks for sharing.


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Old Nov 23, 2004, 3:27 PM   #9
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:lol:Not sure how close Eric would need to have been :lol:.That is a BIG bird and the effective focal length was 1344mm (600mm lens, * 1.4 TC * 1.6 sensor crop).

I'm more amazed that at 1/180 there is no motion blur, even with a tripod
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 10:25 PM   #10
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Well, I do have the 2nd or 3rd best tripod that gitzo makes. The 1348. And I practice my long lens technique a fair amount. I did get to handle the 1548 recently. Wow, and I thought the 1348 was good. I just might have to consider an upgrade.

I was around... 25 feet or so from the bird. It's hard to tell, but I did have to take off the TC because I got too close.

It was interesting what would get its attention and what wouldn't. We'd have full conversations in normal voices and it didn't mind much. It also didn't bat an eye at our "wounded rabbit" hunting call (I don't use such things, but my photography companion does.) What, don't they have some kind of snow rabbits up in the northern tundra?

But a person laughing or the crinkle of some plastic might get its head to snap around. It was great when it did that once... but didn't open its eyes. I know they have good hearing (both positionally and by volume) but it was neat to see it in action.

With full adult Snowy Owls we would never have gotten that close or been able to behave like that. We would have shot from the sunroof only and never left the car. But with the immatures you can do a lot more... most of them any ways. It's the same with shore birds too. You can often get very close to them.

I'm working on another shot, I'll post it soon. Humm... which one to choose from? I only took 160 pictures.

Eric
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