Monday, November 12, 2007

An Unusual Encounter



Upon arriving at Big Meadows daylight was just beginning to lighten the leaden sky. We parked at a pull-off a little south of the visitor’s center to await better photographic light. After sitting there for a few minutes I noticed a large owl swoop into a tree and perch out of sight. As the morning slowly brightened the owl moved numerous times until it came to rest on a snag nearby.

We began shooting although the light level was extremely low. I was shooting the Canon 100-400 F5.6 lens and even with the ISO set to 1600 I could only achieve a 1/15th shutterspeed. Soon the owl moved again and I followed unsure if the photographs I had taken were sufficiently sharp.

The Barred Owl allowed me to follow it around with camera and tripod as long as I maintained a distance of 15 – 20 yards. At one point it even launched a successful attack capturing some small prey animal along the roadside and eating it in only a few bites.

This game continued until the day brightened sufficiently for me to attain the 1/60th shutter speed at ISO 500 used to capture this image. I felt certain by this time that I had captured images of acceptable sharpness and left the Owl to continue its hunt in peace.

16 comments:

Chad Oneil Myers said...

Love it.

Very cool image.

Chad Oneil Myers said...

...in fact, it's my Laptop's desktop now.

roentarre said...

What an amazing capture. I seriously love the setting where this owel was caught on camera.

Sheri said...

Oh my gosh !You take such good pictures.
Sheri

Old Wom Tigley said...

Very well done... Chad as the right idea, it will make a great desktop picture.
I love how it as it's turned.. such a stunning bird, silent but deadly hunters. I was out early this morning and saw 2 owls, one was a Barn owl it flew across the road a few yards ahead of me, and the other was a Little Owl out catching it's breakfast. It's aways a pleasure to see them.

smilnsigh said...

Beautiful! Your patience was well rewarded.

Mari-Nanci

imac said...

Well done Salty, love this owl shot.

Teresa said...

Your photographs are beautiful. I look forward to more.

Take care
Teresa

lv2scpbk said...

Wonderful photo.

oldmanlincoln said...

I enjoyed reading your description that led up to this photo. It really shows that people just don't point and shoot. I can't begin to remember a time when I just saw something, pointed the camera and took the picture.

This ended up being a splendid photograph. I really like it.

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BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

I literally GASPED when I saw this spectacular photo! My little girl came running into our computer room and said, "WHAT?" lol This is simply an outstanding photo!

Kelly Malloy said...

What a magnificent shot!

Chad Oneil Myers said...

What the heck is "project 71"?

Kerri said...

Wow! FANTASTIC shot! I am amazed! I have never seen an owl in the wild before....it is at the top of my list of birds to see!
And the snow in the background just adds to the picture.....Wow again!

Chad Oneil Myers said...

You should use this as your header for a while. Just an idea ;)