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Old Jan 18, 2005, 2:54 PM   #11
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Golfer wrote:
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It just isn't fair, I chase two owels around for the last 2 months and cant get close and you spend 2 days and get a hundred shots. Well done. You will enjoy these for a long. I'm green with envy. LOL

Hehe Golfer, let's me say something though. There's many many great shots found on this forum. Many species I wish I could have a chance to get. I'm also green of envy when I see incredible shots taken by others

What region are you from ? It seems according to all I read that Great Grey Owl and other species has 'invaded' the eastern part of the continent.

Cheers and thanks !
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 2:56 PM   #12
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woodmeister wrote:
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Wonderful photos (including your other post) of a truly amazing bird. I have only seen owls twice in my
life, and they only stuck around long enough for a couple clicks of the camera.
What an treat it must have been to have one so cooperative!

Thanks woodmeister. I guess I found the pot of gold at that location. Although there's simply not a single other bird seen. Maybe they are all too scared ! Hehe. From what I've read, GGO only hunts the small criters on the ground.

Thanks again
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 2:59 PM   #13
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Normcar wrote:
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I'm drawn to the eye focus onmany of these, Eric. The CU is great and it's a nice addition to your series here.

Thanks Norm, what do you mean by CU ?

I made a mistake in my description, I was trying to say the AF point was the one far right, so in portrait orientation it becomes the top one. Thats how I focus all the shots. I noticed from the crop that because of the angle I took the bird, most of the time the belly was slightly OOF, but the tail is in focus (as well as the face).

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Old Jan 18, 2005, 3:04 PM   #14
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eric s wrote:
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Eric, very nicely done. This perch is much better than the last one. I really like these shots.

As to the poop, most large birds do that, actually. I know that cormorants and many raptors do it. Among my bird circles its often refered to as "lighting the load." To photographers it's a sign to get read for a take-off shot.

So, before he took off did he bob his head around (usually left/right but not always)? Many hunting birds do this because it helps them track the prey in 3-dimensions. Eye placement on the head and very limited eye movement makes it hard for most birds to precisely place their prey in 3-dimensions. I've tried to get interesting pictures of a bird doing that, but it often just turns out to be in a weird looking pose. The last one sorta looks like it was doing that. He looks more thoughful maybe because the shot isn't stright on (when it just looks like his head has been dislocated.)

Eric

Thanks Eric and I agree. That's the reason why I wanted to go there again. Made some mistakes on the first encounter and the light was not that good. I was not ready for the bird in flight, was on a tripod. I'm starting to play with birds in flight with a 70-200 F/2.8 lens with a 1.4x T/C coupled to it. Running that at F/5.6 to get more speed. I have a long way to go to master this anyway.

I did recall what you mention, his head looking all over and the way his body started to move more. Now I'll be better prepared for the next encounter. The last shot is not really the very last one before he took off. I was actually trying to get to another angle to shoot him more. But I was not unhappy from the session I had, far from there.

Cheers Eric, take care
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 3:06 PM   #15
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aladyforty wrote:
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great shots, he looks cross eyed:-)

Hehe aladyforty, I can't tell. Maybe Owl expert could explain. Although there's definitly something in the right eye. A black notch or something.

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Old Jan 18, 2005, 3:06 PM   #16
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PeterP wrote:
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Very good sequence!.

Poop??? I thought that was the jet assist exhaust as they took off.:!::evil::-):-):lol::G:blah:

LOL Peter

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Old Jan 18, 2005, 4:19 PM   #17
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What a really great series of shots, Eric! I'd give a lot to get an opportunity like that, although my desire would be to have the weather a bit warmer than you experienced...

It seems your processing techniques are really effective. I think that you get more out of your DRebel than most of us with the more expensive 20D's or better.

This Great Gray's eye contact and head turns are great to see. Now, other than the poop, owls also regurgitate what are called "casts". These are the undigestable remains of whatever their last few meal or meals were, usually things like skulls and other bones. Did you notice any casts on the ground below where the owl was perched?
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 7:16 PM   #18
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geoffs wrote:
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What a really great series of shots, Eric! I'd give a lot to get an opportunity like that, although my desire would be to have the weather a bit warmer than you experienced...

It seems your processing techniques are really effective. I think that you get more out of your DRebel than most of us with the more expensive 20D's or better.

This Great Gray's eye contact and head turns are great to see. Now, other than the poop, owls also regurgitate what are called "casts". These are the undigestable remains of whatever their last few meal or meals were, usually things like skulls and other bones. Did you notice any casts on the ground below where the owl was perched?

Dang no Geoff, haven't looked for that. The other day he was perched like 200 meter away. I'll try for the weekend. Today was simply way too cold. Went out to see how the mallards are doing. Brought the EX 70-200 F/2.8 and a 1.4x t/c to try some birds in flight. Lots of miss shots, but I think its more user errors than anything. And my viewfinder not only it was fogging, but it was freezing and it was getting thicker and thicker. I was wearing some sort of a mask, yet steam was going through. Not a pleasant way of taking shots. Now I can't complain Geoff, for the Mallard it's no fun at all !

They were constantly trying to 'wash' their beak and all since it was forming ice. One of the mallard who ventured on ice actually was stuck there. Water on the belly immediatly froze on contact. Theplummage on the belly was jammed on the ice. Poor creature. An old man went and carefully managed to get the bird off that deadly situation. There was some plumes though the mallard lost. Tonite will be a test for them, although its less cold than the night before.

The Drebel CMOS is excellent Geoff, I agree with you there's a big part of post-processing involved to enhance the pix. I can't give all the secrets I've acquired with experience. I'm still learning new tricks each day. I can tell I'm more efficient now than 6 month ago. Makes less mistake on how to play with layers and layer masking.

Thanks Geoff, and cheers !
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 10:03 PM   #19
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Geoffs,
are you talking about the pellets they regurgitate? Since most owls swallow their prey hole they have to get rid of the bones. The pellets are a great way to figure out what they are eating. This is an interesting "virtual pellet" web site:

http://www.kidwings.com/owlpellets/

I look for those (and "white-wash") to tell that an owl uses that tree for a roost. Many (but not all!) owls will return to the same perch many times. So if you find white-wash on the tree or branches when it goes down (some owls sit next to the base, like Great Horned, others sit further out, like Barred) and that is a sure sign that an owl has been there. I've found Great Horns by following the White Wash trail up the tree.

I just wish PS has even more adjustment layers. Eric CAN, maybe you have a though on this. So I do many things in adjustment layers, including using masks and doing the same adjustment different ways to different things. But what about things that can't be used with adjustment layers. Like Shadow/Highlight? I don't use that often, but some times it's exactly what the picture needed. I could always make a new layer with a mask but what do I put into it? I can't put a dupe of the main layer because that will override/cover all the adjustment layers.

Ok, I digress. Again, great pictures. I can wait until they move into New England. Make me regret taking that vacation time last month (and I got sick to boot!)

Eric

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Old Jan 18, 2005, 10:11 PM   #20
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eric s wrote:
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Geoffs,
are you talking about the pellets they regurgitate? Since most owls swallow their prey hole they have to get rid of the bones. The pellets are a great way to figure out what they are eating. This is an interesting "virtual pellet" web site:

http://www.kidwings.com/owlpellets/
Yep, that's what I'm talking about, Eric. Back during my wildlife biology days at the University of Montana, we used to call them "casts".

BTW, that is a freaking neat site! I love their visual dissection of the pellets or casts into the bones of their prey! Thanks for posting that.

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