This Spring I was working on a series of bird photos. I wanted to do birds of prey. My favorite place to photograph birds is World Bird Sanctuary which is just outside St. Louis Missouri.
If you have never seen a Barn Owl in flight, it is almost silent. It is almost like you can feel a slight disturbance in the air rather than hear it flying. Talk about fleeting, it you didn’t know the bird was in the air, you might miss it. I was at the Sanctuary, and they were flying this owl:
ISO 400 70mm 0ev f/5.6 1/500
For all these images in this post I was using a 70-300mm IS lens. For the photo above and below I was using a fast shutter speed because I really wanted to stop the motion of the bird. For these images I was not using a tripod. Here is the owl at rest with a treat:
ISO 400 300mm 0ev f/5.6 1/500
Here is the final photo I used for my project:
ISO 400 150mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125
This is actually an HDR image. I merged three photos that were exactly the same, except for their exposure, in Photomatix, which is a software that specifically helps the user create HDR images. As for the photo itself, because the bird was still, I lowered my shutter speed. It had been at 1/500th for the other two shots in the post but here it is 1/125. That is still a pretty fast speed and the reason for that is that I know that if any of the feathers are moving at all, it creates a blurred look in HDR. For this shot I was also using a tripod. A lens like the 70-300 IS I was using is fairly heavy, so the tripod was to help with any camera shake I might have introduced by just holding the camera.
I was happy with the way my birds of prey turned out. I have them on my website as prints and also 5×7 cards. If you would like to see the card for this Barn Owl, it is here. If you would like to see the whole gallery, it is here. One of the other birds in the series was a Eurasian Eagle-Owl that I blogged about here.
This post was written in part as response to the Weekly Photo Challenge hosted by WordPress, this week’s theme is fleeting. I appreciate your thoughts and comments so feel free to leave them below.