Snowy Owl - Hey, This Is Not the Arctic!
With the trees in the background and vegetation peeking through the snow, this Snowy Owl will soon leave us to fly back to its breeding ground.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens, handheld as usual @ 1/1000, f6.7, ISO 400, no exposure compensation. A late-afternoon photo. Slight crop for composition purposes. This time, balanced for whites with a touch of selective sharpening to the face, and that's about it for post-processing.
Snowy Owl - Spring Is In The Air
Although it is still winter, the extended daily sunlight with its longer shadows an greater palate of colours gives us a taste of the coming spring.
This is an end-of-the-day photo, with the sun just lowered behind the cloudless horizon, giving us the resulting colours. The lighting condition is reflected in my camera settings. Another advantage of early and late afternoon Snowy photos - the bird's eyes are wide open without any dark shadows due to mid-day overhead sunlight.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens, handheld @ 1/750, f4, ISO 1250, +3 exposure compensation. Small crop for composition purposes. Selective sharpening of only the face.
Moon Landing - Snowy Owl
Another of my hard to take annual moon photos with a Snowy Owl. The sun behind me had just dropped off the horizon as the moon came up. As usual, impossible to get both bird and moon in focus due to the zoom lens used and distance to the bird. Therefore, it is one or the other.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld as usual @ 1/1000, f4, ISO 800, +3 exposure compensation.
Cropped for compositions purposes. Two annoying small branches at the bottom of the photo cloned away. Because the whole of the image was almost a monotone cyan/blue, I selected only the bird to reduce the cyan/blue to bring it closer to a white. Therefore, a miniscule blur brush as applied along the outline of the bird to reduce the resulting contrast line between bird and sky.
Snowy Owl - I'll Soon Have No Place To Perch!
An abundance of snow doesn't leave much of a fence post to land on in this late-afternoon photo!
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens, handheld as usual @ 1/1000, f5.6, ISO 400, + 1 1/3 exposure compensation.
Slight crop for composition purposes. A few small snow white reflection spots healed away.
Snowy Owl - The Elusive White Knight
A rare opportunity for me, thanks to a good friend, to capture on camera an almost totally-white male Snowy Owl. As a bonus, I was accompanied by two old dear Snowy photography friends. And yes, it was freeking cold and windy out there. The location of the bird must remain confidential at my friend's request.
My Snowy Owl photography, as indeed all bird photography, is unfortunately on the decline due to increasingly painful and unstable knees and an ankle which is reducing my mobility. I guess it's life's way of telling me to slow down. But I couldn't miss this opportunity, so it was worth it.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens with the 1.4 Extender, handheld as usual @ 1/1000, f11, ISO 400, no exposure compensation.
About 30% of the image cropped away for composition purposes and formatted for a 12 x 16 exposition frame.
Merci Les Boys!
Snowy Owl - Picket Projectile
This is a later afternoon shot. Love the shadow of a wing on the picket.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld as usual @ 1/1000, f11, ISO 400, no exposure compensation.
Cropped to s vertical format.
Despeckled the background, (the whole image is despeckled, then with the history brush, I paint over the bird and picket to remove the despeckling. Slight selective sharpening of the face only.
Snowy Owl - Cloudy Day Delight
With a bit of post processing tweaking, even a cloudy day can be okay for Snowy Owl photos.
I chose a warmer golden tint to complement the vegetation over the cooler blue one, all the while not wanting to overcorrect for white.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @v 1/1000, f4, ISO 400, + 1/2 exposure compensation.
Cropped in for composition purposes.
Snowy Owl - Snow Storm Sortie
Always a challenge to photograph birds during a snow storm. The one big advantage – regardless of species photographed, I’m almost assured to be alone because no one else usually ventures out in these conditions.
This Snowy photo does bring with it its lot of problems in post-production. The original .raw is dark and uniformly bleu/cyan in colour with little detail. But, surprisingly, there is a lot of information in the .raw file – it’s just a question of tweaking it out.
The bird, foreground and background are all treated separately so as not to conflict with each other. The result is not perfect, and I’m sure others can arrive at a much better result, but I am satisfied.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f8, ISO 800, + 1 exposure compensation. The relatively high f stop at 800 ISO is for me surprising for the scene – a sufficient amount of light was available.
Cropped slightly for composition and framing purposes. Two annoying big snow flakes “healed” away from the face. Background despeckled.
And yes, it was cold out there that day.
Snowy Owl - Post-It
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens with the 1.4 Expander handheld @ 1/1000, f9.5, ISO 400, + 1/2 exposure compensation.
Taken in the late afternoon, therefore a non-white golden glow on the bird. Cropped from a horizontal to a vertical format, although the horizontal view is great too, with more of the post and barbed-wire visible. Background despeckled, but effect probably reduced due to slight sharpening.
Snowy Owl - Happy New Year
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f16, ISO 400, + 2/3 exposure compensation.
Because the Snowy was a bit forward to the left in the frame, I cropped to a more fitting composition frame.
Cropping the sky behind/to the right of the owl to attempt the usual rectangular format would have necessitated clipping the wings.
I could also have "created" more sky into the left of the frame in Photoshop by expanding the canvas, but I opted to work with what I had and cropped to a more squarish frame.
At f16, when I lightened up the sky, a lot of dust bunny spots appeared. I used the heal brush to eliminated the majority. I despeckled the sky in hopes of removing the remainder that I missed.
Happy New Year 2017
Bonne année 2017,
Christmas Northern Hawk-Owl
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f9.5, ISO 400, +1/2 exposure compensation. Cropped for composition purposes.
An amazing swift bird whose colours complimented the wooded background.
Merci à ceux qui ont trouvé et rendu accessible l'oiseau.
Sans vos efforts je n'aurais jamais eux cette belle opportunité.
Great Grey Owl Once Again!
Always an exciting experience to photograph these birds.
Canon 5D Mark III with my 500L f4 lens handheld @b 1/1000, f8, ISO 400, + 2/3 exposure compensation.
Cropped to my 8x16 frame format. Selective sharpening applied only to the face.