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Skagit Owls with Andreas

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Retief, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. So, after all the Swans left, Andreas and I went to breakfast at a high-class joint in Snohomish on the way to the Skagit Flats. We were going to Juanita, but Ron let us know it was raining. So off we headed to where we found the Owls. I think my luck is holding quite good. We saw Short-eared Owls, Red-tail Hawks, Harriers and a couple of far-off Bald Eagle. As well as thousands of Snow Geese off in the distance. Andreas will be posting a way-cool shot of two Hawks, I think, with talons locked, I'm not posting mine because compared to his mine suck :redface: :redface: . So, instead, here are a few owls for critique.

    Does this one seem to "bright"? The sun was on this bird and we shooting not directly into it, but more toward it than I would have liked. But I like the effect:

    I'm not quite sure about this one, but it just strike me. What do you think? I think the feet look rather strange as well.

    This is an 8x10 ratio vertical slice from a horizontal. I am reluctant to crop more, but I'm not sure if I should crop out the second branch on the left and bring the bottom up.

    Flight shot #1, tough with the background, but I like the expression.

    Flight shot #2, I like the feet and eye.

    As you can see, we did get a little snow yesterday.

    Let me know what you think, and what you think could be better, both shot and post-process wise.

  2. Bill, this looks a little colder than our last outing. Louie, Bruce and I will be heading that direction in the morning. I hope they are still there. Have a good trip and we will see you when you get back. Oh yes, these a nice and the snow makes for a good background.
  3. Thanks, Jim. There were several owls, 3 or 4, and they were active for an hour or so, much like we saw. We were a little farther along the dike, but all in the same general area. Much like last time, when the sun came through it wasn't too cold, we really felt it with the Swans more than the owls. Of course that was several hours earlier as well.

    Good luck, I'll be watching.
  4. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  5. Wow Bill, beautiful. These birds are so majestic and you show it well with your pictures. Particularly #1 should make an awesome large print.
  6. Thanks, Fritz, I really liked the way the sun made the bird look so "bright" and the wings almost translucent.
  7. I love the first one I like how the tips of his feathers are translucent. The others are excellent also particularly for such high ISO shots. Keep them coming. I have a lead on some owls locally here but they dont come in until Feb.
  8. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Well Bill,
    I have been looking at your Owls )(WOLS) ?? lol (Paul) )all day.
    No number one is not to bright. (here) Maybe a tad contrast needed.
    I think if you had room I would crop a bit off the top is all. Take out the stick also. Looks like some noise.. But I am viewing an an LCD not calibrated (except for adobe).
    so as usual I am prob full of beans.

    If it were not so cropped for internet and resized I might think of taking it to PS myself. :>))

    I love Owls.
    The backgrounds that are offered it great.

    I absolutely love the image. Very jealous also. Never ever even seen one.

    I also very much like the third one.

    It is ashame they were so far away Bill. What a fantastic opportunity.

    That is the only reason I hesitate on a D2H, is the MP, sometimes it does mean something, altho I really really want one.

    Not sure the D200 will deliver the speed yet. hummm The old waiting game.

    Well thats ok. They can work out the kinks and fix the bugs, cause I can't get a new camera for at least a year.

    So all in all you got some magnificant images. 98 percent of us will never get them.

    Cept that Fenton guy. lolol Who else would find a seal.. Still think thats a fake lololol ( J/K Jim)
  9. nice capture of the action in the first shot...
  10. Great shots Bill, makes me think I should have gone up there. I wandered over to Redmond to take care of a little business since it was misting at Juanita. Sun came out, but the clouds still looked like they were over the Kirkland/Juanita area.

    So I came home, new 500mm F4.5 still in the bag. Wait until next week!!!
  11. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    Way to Go Bill
    1st and last one take it away for me !!
  12. Thanks, Mike, I really like that one as well. I am going to have to play with that a bit to see if I can crop more and still get a good image. This was a case where I wanted to keep the shutter speed up, as these are much faster flyers than the Swans. But that one shot Jim posted with the "wing blur" is pretty cool as well. You can sure see what Auto ISO does, though, with the first shot against the sky at 500, and the others with darker background near the ground at 1600. I did a small shot of NR on these, but to print I would be much more selective.

    Good luck on your owls, I think these birds have some of the greatest 'expressions' of all, and who can beat those eyse :smile:
  13. Thanks, Gale. You can see the resolution difference when you look at the similar shots from Jim Thiel. Same area, and if you look at the owls we both posted a week ago we were shooting those side-by-side. But when he crops, he still has 6mp left, where I have only 2. I think the D200 is going to be plenty fast enough, both AF and FPS wise. I hope to be able to tell you for sure in another month or so, I'm still hoping that mine will be waiting when I get home from England on the 15th. Oh yeah, hello from Jolly Old :wink:

    Let me know if you want to play in PS with one of these a bit, i'd be happy to send one along and have you give me a Post Process lesson or two.

    I think that "Fenton Guy" cheats, I don't know how, but it is right in line with all you Florididididianers and that gorgeous sunshine all the time, and not a Geo in site :smile:
  14. Thanks, Eric, the more I look at that one the more it becomes my favorite of the bunch.
  15. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Bill If you want me to play with the first one let me know. Or any of them :>))


    Send a raw file. Don't know that I am better than you at processiong though.
  16. Good luck next weekend, I wish I could be there when you have your "first go".

    Thanks for the comment, it is always, to some extent, a crap shoot when we go out this time of year, you just never know what the weather will bring. Andreas and I had a few nice sunbreaks, and the birds sure cooperated. When you called and said it was sprinkling down Juanita way, that made our decision earlier, especially as Andreas had not yet seen the owls. Hopefully they will stay at this one area for the next couple of months.

    You should try Hierman as well, it is as close to "guaranteed" as I know.
  17. Thanks, Ben, so far #1 is getting a LOT of press :wink:

    I am torn on the last 2 every time I look at them, but if I had to pick one over the other, I'd agree with you.
  18. Gale, I can't send them from here, they are on my server at home, but I'll send you both the NEF and PSD if you would like from the first one. PSD is pretty darned big though, I could put them on my FTP server rather than trying to jam large files through email. Let's touch base when I return.

  19. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I can only handle 10 megs at the e-mail.
    Don't need the PSD file really.

    Raws will be ok.

    Should be fun.. I love owls (wols) hahahahha
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