Thursday, September 19, 2013

Photographing Owls - Luck Is Important

I read a post by the expert nature photographer, Stephen L.Tabone, about photographing barred owls. It seems that the population near his place are becoming more accommodating, and he's taken advantage of the opportunity:
 
Barred Owl, by Stephen L. Tabone
Image Source: http://stevetaboneblog.com/2013/09/09/barred-owl/
 
I have been interested in photographing owls for a long time. I've attended talks about them, and gone out scouting in the correct terrain, time of year, etc., largely to no avail. Every once in a while, someone will show me an iPhone shot of an owl that happened to land next to their car or something, and it kind of drives me crazy.
 
I've decided that unless you commit your life to following these guys, luck must smile on you to get a great shot like the one above. As you may have seen here earlier in the year, that has happened to me once, and only once, as far as owls are concerned. Here's my prize shot of the same species of barred owl that Stephen is capturing:
 
Barred Owl (Strix varia), by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Lumix 100-300mm f4-5.6 OIS Lens
iso 400, f6.3, 1/800 sec
 
I can at least say that I was birdwatching at the time it happened; actually I was on my way to go birdwatching when I saw this beauty perched right alongside the road. Because I was ready to photograph birds (with my Lumix 100-300mm zoom mounted and in the car), I was able to react and get the shot. I consider this a gift from the bird gods.
 
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