Owl at the sunset...

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Feb 5, 2005
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I was going to process some photos from last evening when I finished with my client today about 1830h, but I had the idea to go out and see my little friends again. What with checking e-mail and a few other things, I only got out around 1930h, a short time before sunset. Today was more overcast, the sun mostly hidden as it dropped down to the horizon. A higher ISO would be in order for any real shutter speed, and so I jumped it to ISO400, and began my slow walk over to see the lairs of the burrowing owls.

A number of interesting photos ensued, some in flowered fields, others at the burrows, but one looked as though it would hold real promise, even viewed on the LCD of my camera. I could only hope that my hands were steady enough, as the shot was made quite close to the bird, and I was struggling with the weight of the camera and lens after a long day (including a photo shoot in the facility I was working with). But my little model was being so cooperative today, letting me within perhaps six feet distance, so I kept my hopes high.

It seemed to turn out not too badly, I think. But I did have great material at hand to work with...

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D100, 200-400mm AFS/VR with TC14EII (net 550mm), ISO400, f/5.6, 1/125s, slightly cropped for composition, processed in NC

Burrowing Owl, Odessa, TX


Always shoot.


John P.
 
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Jan 25, 2005
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Alabama
John,

You are showing off now.... 8)

Wonderful shot!!

Any chance you can come down to Merritt in June?

Frank
 
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PhotoDawg said:
Nice detail John!! Owls are really unique looking birds. :) :) :)
Dawg :

Thanks for the kind words.

I really enjoy shooting owls, and especially burrowing owls. They're odd little creatures, darting here and there, in and out of their burrows, quickly wheeling to dive in on prey, and making their chattering calls in the dusk.

I've shot in the same area on each visit here for a couple of years, and I never tire of seeing my little feathered friends. Each visit, I find some aspect of their behaviour that I didn't capture before, and this trip has brought me in closer to the birds than ever before.

I suppose I could be running around the town, but I walk over to see these birds many evenings from my hotel. I guess it comes back to my motto, "Always shoot"...



John P.
 
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Flew said:
You are showing off now.... 8)
Frank :

Says the man who posts photo after photo after photo of birds in fast flight...

But thanks for the kind words, anyway ! :lol:

Flew said:
Any chance you can come down to Merritt in June?
Very doubtful, although I'd dearly love to get there for a respite from work. I can't complain about venues while I'm working, though, as I've been shooting here in west Texas for almost two weeks (outside of my eleven hour or so workdays, not counting the evenings), will be in Salt Lake City next week, and central Wisconsin the week after.

But we'll see.


John P.
 
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Jan 26, 2005
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San Jose, CA
That's a contest winner, JP! Enter it in something that will make you money :lol:.

The 200-400 is a heavy beast, and you ran around with it and then took the shot handheld at 1/25s. You must have forearms like Popeye -lol.

The best part is that the shot was grabbed in the wild. I don't have anything against zoo pictures, but this has a whole different feel. Congratulations on a successful hunt.
 
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UncleFrank said:
That's a contest winner, JP! Enter it in something that will make you money :lol:.

The 200-400 is a heavy beast, and you ran around with it and then took the shot handheld at 1/25s. You must have forearms like Popeye -lol.

The best part is that the shot was grabbed in the wild. I don't have anything against zoo pictures, but this has a whole different feel. Congratulations on a successful hunt.
Frank :

Popeye, eh ? Well, some of the Cafe's regulars have met me, so they can comment better on that I suppose. But when I used to do produce work, I was known to have told people, "A yam, what a yam !" :twisted: 8) :twisted:

I like shooting both in zoos and in the wild. There are circumstances where I just won't be able to readily shoot some subjects, like, for example, polar bears, in their natural habitat. But one can get pretty close to a subject in a zoo, albeit usually with fences or other occlusions to a sight line. In this case, I was able to get closer than I ever could in a zoo with a clear field of vision, so this was a double treat for me.

Competition ? Interesting idea - I've never done that. Something to ponder...

Thanks for the kind words.



John P.
 
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Toronto Canada
Wow, I'm impressed! Having VR on a heavy lens sure helps grab the shots that might get away. This one is a true winner, that's for sure!
 
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East Norriton, PA
wonderful I have never had a chance to shoot owls before I sure hope I am lucky enough one day. This is fantastic as is the rest of your owl posts.
 
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TOLady said:
Wow, I'm impressed! Having VR on a heavy lens sure helps grab the shots that might get away. This one is a true winner, that's for sure!
Sandi :

Thanks for the kind words.

Well, the VR makes a big difference, but getting the technique of using that lens is pretty important as well. It's entirely different than handling any other lens that I've used.

And I'm still learning to get the best out of this lens - I think that I can have far better and more consistent results than I've seen thus far.

I have so much to learn.


John P.
 
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Desert Rat said:
Now that is a crisp sharp image can see all the feathers on the face..
Eric :

Yup. That's the shot I use when people tell me the 200-400mm AFS/VR with a TC14EII is "soft". It's a darned good lens, and if it's not quite as sharp as the 500mm, it's pretty close. Note also that this shot was with wide-open aperture (the reported f/stop includes the effect of the TC), which neatly demolishes the idea that the 200-400mm has to be shot well stopped down to get solid images.

All in all, the 200-400mm offers excellent service for me. :biggrin:

That's one of the shots I show people when they tell me "you can't shoot the 200-400mm handheld and get good photos."

< evil chuckle >


John P.
 
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