Head shot!

I have always wanted to do this — get close enough to a wild raptor to take a close-up photo.  I marvel at people that can find owls when it is light enough to take their photo; I rarely see them at all, and if I do, it’s too dark to photograph.  But today was my day.

I saw a Barred Owl fly into a bush about 100 feet away — cardinals, chickadees and blue jays fussed for a few minutes about this, but then gave up trying to chase the owl away and flew off.

Doing my best imitation of a stalker, I slowly crept toward the owl, going from a photo op like this:

Barred Owl plumage camouflages them nicely in the dappled sunlight of a scraggly Amur maple.

Barred Owl plumage camouflages them nicely in the dappled sunlight of a scraggly Amur maple. It certainly helps that the trees have not leafed out yet here.

to one like this (with the help of 400 mm magnification):

This shot is only cropped from landscape to portrait mode, no digital zooming!  I managed to get about 30 feet from the owl.

This shot is only transformed from landscape to portrait mode, no digital zooming! I managed to get about 30 feet from the owl.

The owl was so unconcerned about my presence, in fact, that it proceeded to take a nap.

Snoozin'

Snoozin’…

And thus, I got my head shot, with some cropping and zooming.

A short nap is in order after a night of mousing (or frogging).  Too bad about the stick in front of its eye.

A short nap is in order after a night of mousing (or frogging).  Too bad about the stick in front of its eye.  I don’t think I have ever gotten my hair to lie down this smoothly.

22 thoughts on “Head shot!

  1. You know, if you keep taking these, you will not be happy until you own a lens like this! These are beautiful!

  2. Great shots, Sue, of a really beautiful subject. Luck has a lot to do with having an opportunity like this, but had both the skill and the equipment to really take advantage of the situation. Super job.

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