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:
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:
Here is the final photo I used for my project:
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. The final photo is available in my Picfair portfolio. 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.