Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

July 18, 2009

Great Horned Owl, again

Filed under: Birds, light — richditch @ 11:05 am
Great Horned Owl juvenile

Great Horned Owl juvenile

Since it has warmed up again around Phoenix (115 degrees forecast for both days this weekend, following 114 degrees on Friday), I’m starting to process raw files from previous outings that I didn’t have time to address before.

This juvenile Great Horned Owl is one of those shots, taken on the eastern edge of the metro expansion on June 13 of this year. I’ve posted a couple shots here already from this family, including a shot of this bird with both eyes open. This companion shot shows one eye closed the the other barely open – young birds spend a lot of time dozing while they digest the last meal and wait ofr another to be delivered by one of the parents.

The light in this image is misleading. It was taken at 7:05 AM, almost 2 hours after sunrise. But it is a shaded roost with no direct light falling on the owl. The owl was stationary enough that I could work with the natural light alone without flash; I really don’t like using flash and especially don’t like using it on roosting owls. At ISO 320 I got 1/90th second and f/10 with the spot meter (to avoid underexposure from misreading the brighter light coming through the branches).

What surprised was how flat the light is in this shot. One reason I like natural light (and dislike flash) is that with natural light I tend to get more directional light that shows subject contours with natural shadows (while flash often “flattens” an image by eliminating the shadows). but in this case the shaded setting effectively took out all the directionality of the light.

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1 Comment »

  1. What a beaut!

    Comment by Owlman — July 23, 2009 @ 1:34 pm


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