CF-18 Fighter Replacement, and No, It's Not the F-35!
Look out below! What a blast!
This is my proposed replacement for the aging CF-18 fighter for the Canadian Armed Forces. I think you'll agree it's a lot cheaper than the proposed F-35 currently under consideration and is suitable for close air-to-ground support :-)
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens with the 1.4 II Extender on a monopod @ 1/1000, f5.6, ISO 400, +2 exposure compensation.
Slight crop for composition purposes. I had to up the contrast on the heron quite a bit and do some extra selective sharpening because the focus on the bird was not the best. The image was originally darker because of lack of light due to a late sunset. I figured the story told by this image was worth posting despite the lack of total sharpness of the heron.
This one will definitely not be printed for exhibit purposes :-)
A Parting Gift - Snowy Owl
This Snowy Owl gives me a parting gift just before takeoff.
Well, a little humour never hurts :-)
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens @ 1/1250, f10, ISO 400.
Cropped for composition purposes with about 25% of the image cropped away.
How Low Can You Go? Springboard Snowy Owl
I just love these unusual poses.
This Snowy Owl adopts a springboard position before takeoff.
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1250, f10, ISO 400, no exposure compensation.
Slight crop to remove excess space above the bird.
Macho Male - Snowy Owl
This male Snowy Owl should be facing a setting sun when this photo was taken, but unfortunately the sky was overcast with clouds. One advantage in this situation is that we can see a little more detail in the feathers of the bird, details which may have been lost in a harsher light.
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f4, ISO 400, + 2 2/3 exposure compensation.
Slight crop to de-centre the bird for composition purposes.
In Your Face - Juvenile Snowy Owl
Although I've been on an extreme-light kick lately for my Snowy Owls, there is nothing wrong with images taken in normal daylight, and I do have many on file.
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens handheld at 1/1250, f13, ISO 400, -2/3 exposure compensation.
Slight crop for composition purposes, one dust bunny clonned away, shadow from right eye removed/reduced, background despeckled to reduce noise.
The crop may be a little tight for some, but here, due to the uniform colour of the pale blue sky I wanted to present more of a portrait view of this great pose. I probably would have opened up the image if the background presented with a more diverse scenery and more colour.
A Saintly Snowy Owl - Eve Of Full Moon
With a full moon tonight, I figured I'd post this one of a Snowy Owl perched on a pole with the rising moon passing behind him. It sort of gives him a saintly angelic look.
Taken on the eve of a full moon with frontal lighting from a setting sun almost on the horizon, these types of shots present many challenges. Of course, the bird and the moon have to be in the right spot, the moon has to be visible in the sky and you only have a few minutes to act.
Another big problem is depth-of-field in trying to get both the owl and moon in focus. Because I was using my 500mm lens with the bird close and almost full-framed, there was not enough depth-of-field to capture the moon in focus.
One way around this is to create a montage by taking a second shot of the moon in focus and combining the two images together.
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/400, f4, ISO 400, +2 1/3 exposure compensation.
Very slight crop to reduce the height of the sky above the owl and moon. This was not taken at noon, so I left the cool blue hue on the owl to reflect the time of day the image was taken.
The Snowy Owls will return to their homes in the arctic to mate towards the end of April.
31 March 2012
Last Quick Look - Snowy Owl
It was a great day with two good friends when this Snowy Owl gave us a quick look.
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens handheld at 1/1000, f11, ISO 400, no exposure compensation.
Very slight crop for composition purposes. I left the small dominance of magenta in the image to reflect the reality of the time of day. One dust bunny clonned away.
Nape-of-The-Earth Phantom Fighter - Snowy Owl
This male Snowy Owl hugs the earth during a swift early morning glide.
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f4, ISO 400, + 2 1/3 exposure compensation.
Slight crop for composition purposes.
Watcha Looking At Buddy? Male Snowy Owl
With a setting sun, this male Snowy Owl takes a quick glance to make sure he's not being pursued.
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1600, f4, ISO 400, -1/3 exposure compensation.
Cropped slightly for composition purposes.
Farewell For This Season - Snowy Owl
This Snowy Owl faces a setting sun on the horizon as it takes off.
This brings to an end my Snowy Owl season for 2011-12, and what a fantastic season it was, probably my best ever.
This doesn't mean I won't be posting more photos of my favourite bird - it's just that my photographic attention will be elsewhere in the coming weeks. The ground conditions are getting too difficult for my poor knees and the Snowys will soon be departing for their homes in the arctic.
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f4, ISO 400, +2/3 exposure compensation.
Very slight crop to straighten image. A tiny spec of branch clonned away at the bottom centre of the image.
My Cold Domaine - Snowy Owl
This Snowy Owl shows off his frigid domaine at dusk with the setting sun long lost behind thick clouds.
The hint of light in the sky gives this otherwise cold image a touch of contrasting warmth.
The ice-covered fence and wire adds to the feeling of winter's harshness. And yet, the Snowy Owl is at home under such conditions.
Again, this type of shot is not for everyone in Quebec's bird photography circles, but it will be framwed and hanging during my next art exhibit in August.
Canon 7D with the 500L lens handheld at 1/1000, f4, ISO 400, +2 exposure conpensation. No crop and no unusual post-processing.
Thanks to Eric Martin who stuck it out with me to the bitter end of the day.
On Target At Dusk - Snowy Owl
Here we have en extreme light situation with this dramatic image of a Snowy Owl hitting the mark. This simply shows that an otherwise bad light situation can be saved with post-processing instead of finding its way to the trash bin.
The sun was practically below the horizon which created a poor light situation.
Canon 7D with the 500L f4 lens handheld @ 1/1000, f4, ISO 640, +2 2/3 exposure compensation.
Very slight crop to level the horizon straight. I was lucky that the bird was white against a darker background. This permitted the sensor to squeeze a lot more image info on the white bird due to the extra over-exposture caused by the darker background - in normal daytime light, the white of the bird would have been blown out.
After sharpening, I used the despeckling filter to reduce noise, but it wasn't enough. I had trouble with a noticable halo effect around the fence post. My good friend Dom Cantin re-worked my sharpening technique with a much better result.