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Old Jan 3, 2005, 2:26 PM   #1
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Now that I've recovered from being sick (sinus and ear infection) I finally got out and took some pictures. On Saturday I went out looking for owls and found 3 of the 4 I tried for. The best two are the first two pictured here. both are Eastern Screech owls. Then on Sunday I got up early and went looking for a grey morph Eastern screech owl. Didn't find it, but instead bumped into that last owl, an old looking barred owl. I had seen a small Great Horned Owl one tree over from that Barred owl so it's nice to see this one too. It was hard to get a clean shot of him, between the branches & needles on that tree and the branches of other trees infront of him. But I was just happy to see him.

All in all, a good way to get back into photography after a two week sickness. A few more picture can be seen here:
http://esmith.marx7.org/menotomy/Owl_Weekend/

pic 1:
Camera: 20D 600mm f4 1/320 f4 ISO 400 tripod
PhotoShop: RAW Convert, NeatImage, contrast a few ways, levels, crop, reduce, sharpen a few ways

Pic 2:
Camera: 20D 600mm f4 & 1.4xTC 1/500 f5.6 ISO 400 tripod
PhotoShop: RAW Convert, NeatImage + builtin sharpen, contrast a few ways, levels, crop, reduce, sharpen a few ways

Pic 3:
Camera: 20D 600mm f4 1/160 f4 ISO 400 tripod
PhotoShop: RAW Convert, NeatImage + builtin sharpen, shadow/hilight, contrast a few ways, levels, crop, reduce, sharpen a few ways

Eric
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 3:51 PM   #2
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Very nice, Eric. It's good to see you feeling better and getting out to take photos to post. You've been MIA here for too long... :-)

Had you heard these guys calling during your previous excursions to this area? Is this how you knew they were to be found there? Well, good job finding them at any rate.

I really like that 2nd shot and the barred owl is pretty darn nifty too. I'll be waiting for that gray morph screech owl...
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 4:09 PM   #3
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I had inside info on the first two.

The first one has been using the same hole every winter for the past few winters. I have some older shots of this owl with my 100-400 from last year. But I had to go back because I like this owl. And some times you can catch her mate sitting beside her. And that is really cute.

The second one I learned about a few months back. It's been described as a very reliable owl. I know several people who have seen it every time they have gone to look for it. It's been there every time I've looked.

Barred owls are different. While they do reuse perches they aren't regular about it. This barred owl was seen in the same tree (much higher up) about 10 days before I saw it. But I had never seen it there and hadn't expected too. It's just a good area for owls; last year the same 1/8 mile bunch of trees had a great horned, several screech, a Northern Saw-whet owl and a Long Eared owl (the last two being the amazing finds... I missed them both.)

So I planned on the first two, but the last was luck.

I can't wait to get the grey morph. I've never seen one (and I'm told that is the more common morph here!)

Eric
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 7:33 PM   #4
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Great shots!! I've only ever seen owls twice in my life. Fortunately I had my
camera with me on both occasions. I wonder why their eyes are closed?
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 9:29 PM   #5
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Nice shots, that 600F4 really performs well.
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 11:09 PM   #6
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I was just reading about this some last night, actually.

Owls almost always have their eyes closed during the day. They don't really need to see you because they can pin-point you in three dimensions without their eyes open any ways. They also keep the "ear tufts" up (those actually aren't related to their ears at all. The ears are lower down and under the feathers.)

At night they keep their eyes open all the way and keep the ear tufts down.

The 600mm really does amazing things. The distances you shoot with it are longer than most (of course) and it doesn't get in your way... you have to have that performance to make up for the distance to the subject.

Eric
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 4:23 AM   #7
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Nice photos. Your title is a reversal of roles as it is usually the owl out hunting.
Joe B.
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 4:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback about the eyes.
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