Snowy Owl - Closeup and Personal
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld as usual @ 1/1000, f9.5, ISO 400, no exposure compensation.
I had several choices as to presentation. I chose to crop close at original ratio for that dynamic look, although I did clip the wings.
I processed this one on the fly on my laptop instead of my main computer, therefore colours and white-balance contamination may vary. I applied selective sharpening only to the face.
I could have crop to a sleek 1:2 ratio to get in more of the wings, or I could have kept it at the original ratio without crop to preserve the full wings and to emphasise the Snowy's fore and background environment. All three presentations are acceptable, yet different - three for the price of one!
Snowy Owl - Morning Arrival
With the rapidly melting snow and immanent departure of these majestic birds for their natural habitat in the north, my Snowy Owl season for 2015-2016 has unfortunately come to an end. This doesn't mean, though, that I won't post new photos - there are many many more in my collection not yet published :- )
I will miss passing quality time with this, my favourite of all species.
Thanks to good friends who helped me find the birds in secret locations and who understand my need to be alone with them, Regretfully, the same cannot be said for many photographers who practically stalk you to disturb the peace, tranquility and trust established with individual birds - such is the nature of bird photography.
All-in-all despite some bumps in the road, it has been a very good season. New individual birds found, several returning birds from previous years were also located (identified by individual physical features).
It is getting harder and harder for me to carry on with my Snowy pursuit. My bad knees and other new bodily aches and pains are slowing me down, not to mention age. I have already greatly reduced by photo sessions with other species throughout the rest of the year. I suspect I'll have to reduce my Snowy activities next year also. New interesting pursuits and interests are replacing the time spent photographing birds.
As for this photo, an early morning light nicely illuminates this Snowy and guarantees wide open eyes, contrary to mid-day when heavy shadows obscure them and the bright light forces the Snowys to keep their eyes squinted.
Canon 5d Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f5.6, ISO 400, + 1/2 exposure compensation. Slight crop to bring the bird leftwards towards the centre, he was leaving my frame to the right which caused a slight clip of the wing - no big deal. Some unnatural white reflection spots in the snow removed.
Snowy Owl - Just Me and My Shadow
The late afternoon setting sun provides a cool-looking light on the snow and shadow for this departing Snowy, who has his beak covered with snow. The Snowy itself is in a warm pre-golden tone due to the setting sun.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld as usual @ 1/1000, f9.5, ISO 400, - 1/2 exposure compensation.
Slight crop to straighten the level of the shadow. A zillion annoying snow reflection spots and a huge dust bunny removed. I could have removed the three strands of vegetation, but decided to leave them there for now.
Snowy Owl - Winged Wonder
The wingspan of Snowy's is amazing to witness.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, F11, ISO 400, no exposure compensation.
Slight crop to level the snow horizon line.
Snowy Owl - Get A Grip
Again, with a very early morning light just after dawn. Just love the shadow created by the Snowy.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f4.5, ISO 400, + 1 1/2 exposure compensation.
Cropped slightly to straighten background horizon.
Snowy Owl - These Fence Posts Are Getting Shorter and Shorter
Here is another photo of a Snowy Owl perched on a different short-looking fence post.
Heavy snow drifts in the field also accumulated around this post to make it look short!
Canon Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f4.5, ISO 400, +1 1/3 exposure compensation due to the late afternoon setting sun.
Originally taken horizontally, I cropped this one vertically for composition purposes.
Snowy Owl - My Post Is Getting Shorter and Shorter
Heavy rising snow drifts cover the field and make for a short-looking fence post, but this Snowy Owl doesn't seem to mind.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/800, f16, ISO 400.
Cropped for composition purposes.
Snowy Owl - The Caped Avenger Strikes Again
One of my favourite inflight Snowy Owl poses which shows the powerful force of the bird's takeoff mechanism.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld as usual. Small crop for composition purposes. The usual colour/exposure/contrast corrections.
Snowy Owl - Fence Fantasy
You don't always have to have snow in a Snowy Owl photo.
This late-afternoon shot harmonizes background and foreground with the fence while contrasting with a mostly white bird.
The handholding of my camera gear is getting harder and harder to with age, and my painful wobbly knees are restricting me more and more. The recuperation period following my birding sessions is keeping me in bed more often and for longer periods of time - such is life!
Canon Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f8, ISO 400, no exposure compensation.
Cropped slightly for composition purposes to fit a 12 X 16 frame.
Snowy Owl - Snowshoe Jockey
Here is another one of my attempts to get a Snowy Owl to perch upon one of my snowshoes. It is never an easy thing for me to do and I have a very low rate of success.
I can never seem to get my snowshoe level with the ground when I do manage to pull of this type of photo.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f18, ISO 400, +2/3 exposure compensation.
This horizontal photo was cropped vertically for composition purposes.
Snowy Owl - Billiard Cue-Stick Bird
Well, not exactly a billiard cue-stick! Still, it is amazing to watch how Snowy Owls perch on even the thinnest branch or post. In this case, the stick was some sort of trail marker in a field.
Canon with my 500L f4 lens, handheld @ 1/1000, f10, ISO 400, with - 2/3 exposure compensation.
Small crop for composition purposes.
Snowy Owl - Showing Off My Goodies
The wingspan of a Snowy Owl is quite impressive - an average of about 1.5 yards, with males a bit shorter than females.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f16, ISO 400 with no exposure compensation.
Cropped slightly for composition purposes. Toned down the cyan tint due to a late afternoon setting sun a bit just on the owl without affecting the back and foreground.