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Old Jan 17, 2005, 8:02 PM   #1
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Today was cold and sunny, I kicked myself in the b#tt to decide to try to get the Great Grey Owl, we've been photographing Saturday. I knew my best chance would be before noon, due to the sun angle in relation where the forrest termination was. -15 C (-25 C with windshield) was the temperature. Batteries fully charge, I'm ready for a 20 min hike. The air is crisp and cold, the nose is running.. let's carry on. Looking all over for the Owl. While walking, I spot it ! Woohoo. Sunlight partially bathing the beauty. Took my time, set the tripod, camera, lens on tripod. Hooked the cable release and I walked closer.

First photo - all these shots below are taken as is, no crop

- 500mm, F/9, ISO200, 1/250 sec (thanks to the cable release)

At this point, he doesnt pay attention to me




I got closer, slowly went closer, set the AF to the point (portrait orientation), 400mm, F/8, ISO 200, 1/320 sec

Woops, he spotted me, :lol:




Btw, I took 74 shots of this Owl, I was trying different settings including ISO, F/stop, shutter speed. Playing with less or light entering the sensor. Biggest difficulty with this bird is not to blow highlights, its very hard.

Again at 400mm, F/7.1, 1/640, ISO400

He spotted something, look at the eye !




I changed location slightly, there was a 'clear opening' only at some areas, the rest was trees in the way. I was breaking dead branch to get his attention, hehe 400mm, F/8, ISO400, F/8




It took me like 60 shots to realize I could do a little better, the spot I was thinking had a better background. Switched location, I'm down to 350mm, ISO400, F/8, 1/400 sec. Just a note the sun always moving started not to bath the Owl anymore.

I will hypnotize you, I will.. I will - yes you will with those eyes




Larger view of its head :






Itheard something down the forrest...



It pooped and took off... I was told by Peter (photog of saturday I met), that Owls always do that. They rest, look around if not sleeping and they always poop before taking off. It went directly down the forrest. My encounter was over. But happy I was

Cheers everyone !

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Old Jan 17, 2005, 9:01 PM   #2
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Great series Eric,
What I wouldn't give for an opportunity like that. What a cooperative subject as well. He looks like he has a Saturday morning hangover. Eyes a little crossed, leaning a little to one side. :lol: But what a beautiful bird. Your focus is right on target.

Excellent,
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Old Jan 17, 2005, 9:23 PM   #3
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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
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 4:43 AM   #4
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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!
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 5:41 AM   #5
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great shots, he looks cross eyed:-)
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 9:46 AM   #6
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Very well done Eric.
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 11:50 AM   #7
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Very good sequence!.

Poop??? I thought that was the jet assist exhaust as they took off.:!::evil::-):-):lol::G:blah:
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 12:30 PM   #8
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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
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 1:24 PM   #9
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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.
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Old Jan 18, 2005, 2:51 PM   #10
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smac wrote:
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Great series Eric,
What I wouldn't give for an opportunity like that. What a cooperative subject as well. He looks like he has a Saturday morning hangover. Eyes a little crossed, leaning a little to one side. :lol: But what a beautiful bird. Your focus is right on target.

Excellent,
smac

Thank smac Yes the birds look is kinda weird. Maybe he's really crossed. I can't tell. It's my 2nd encounter with that species. Nonetheless, agree with you it's a beautiful bird indeed

Cheers !
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