wildlife,  NATURE,  Environment,  PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS



Eagle Owl portrait

Eagle Owl 03




Eagle Owl

Eagle Owl 04



Eagle owl  (Bubo bubo)

Although these images were taken on a photography workshop I was running, I have actually seen wild Eagle Owls in this very same spot in Brockworth, Gloucester.  It was presumably an escaped owl attracted to the captive ones, but it went and was never seen again.


Eagle Owls are controversial birds.  No-one seems to have proof if they are actually wild, but on the balance of probability, it does seem likely that at least some Eagle Owls in the UK could have made it across the English Channel (these birds are not strong fliers and hence the douby by some they cannot be natural arrivals).  I have myself seen them breeding on quarry faces in Kent in 2005, and more recently a breeding pair in another quarry came to light when was shot just 3 miles from my home in the Forest of Dean (2011).


I really hope to bring you some honest images of wild Eagle Owls in the future.




Eagle Owl

Eagle Owl 01




The light throughout the trip was quite dull, and coupled with the time of day that the owls came out to hunt, forced me into shooting at higher than normal ISO ratings.  With the Canon 5D, I would try to keep the ISO at 400 or below, but almost always the results were blurred through poor panning or even focus tracking.  Too many images were lost to the bin.  The images below were taken at 500ASA, 400ASA, 320ASA and 200ASA respectively, each one showing, even at web size, the difference in quality of the image.  It is the shutter speed that determines what ISO to use, and I discovered that 1/500th or faster is ideally needed, but as low as 1/200th was possible with good panning technique (such as image 33f - shot at 400ASA).  Thankfully, I think the aesthetic and interest value of the images more than compensates for any loss of quality, so I'm quite happy with these - for now.




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