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Southern White Faced Owl

Southern White Faced Owl
Photo Information
Copyright: Miles Herbert (captive-light) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 84 W: 22 N: 266] (1582)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2015-08-15
Categories: Nature
Camera: Canon EOS 7D, Canon 100 - 400 L USM, RAW
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2015-08-22 14:59
Viewed: 1351
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Southern White Faced Owl (Ptilopsis granti) native to Sub-Saharan Africa - except this one lives in deepest darkest Hampshire and has never been to Africa in his life. In the wild they will hunt and eat small rodents and large insects but "Frodo", as he is named, prefers a little mouse to be fed to him on a daily basis. He does however have a bit of a temper on him and often gets grumpy. On this particular day in the studio he was unfortunately rather grumpy. The term "Fed Up" has come to mean "grumpy" and is actually a falconry term derived from the birds being grumpy and wanting to be left alone after feeding. After a few photos he got his wish and was left alone to digest his meal in peace.

Anyway ... this was shot in our studio (have you any idea how smelly and difficult owl poo is to clean up?) using a printed vinyl background that I had made up with Frodo sat on a nice natural piece of wood that I stole. Lighting was 2 Elinchrom BX 400's - one in front and slightly left with the other behind and to the right

ISO 100 for quality
1/125th Second Shutter Speed - reasonable flash sync speed
F9 - I had set the lights to F8 using a flash meter but I guess somewhere along the line we must have moved the perches a little closer to the light and had to bring it down a third of a stop.

mesquens1, wackymob, shaukatmi has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To bobsmith: Catchlightscaptive-light 1 08-23 10:51
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Miles,
Very good sharpness, composition and exposure control, giving an impressive result. The eyes and the detail on the feathers are simply beautiful. The only suggestion I have is to perhaps crop off slightly at the bottom but that is splitting hairs. Thank you for the informative note.

For me the composition works well. Great choice of background, looks very natural, grumpy Frodo looks very much at home. Congratulations.

Hi Miles
Excellent dof to achieve a flawless portrait.
Perfect focus and exposure.


Bom dia Miles,
Another as said the ancients Latinists, "even the great HOMER slumbers", you had missed a horrible reflection of flash on the eyes, thing you would eliminate in a second... ;-o}
Have a nice Sunday.

Hi Miles

Another cracking shot and again there is nothing I can say as you obviously know what you are doing. Personally, I like the flash (or catchlights) in the eyes. I can imagine you get exasperated with some ill informed comments.

WOooooooooWl !
Fantastic picture, amazing advertising for your work.
Welcome back to the amateur's world

Hi, Miles. Excellent sharpness, composition and eye-catching posture with good details in the feathers. The catch light in the eye and muted background enhances the subject. Personally I do like to take pictures of wildlife outside the studio in the natural habitat but that is my preference. Thank you for the nice note. Cheers.

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