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Thread: Northern Hawk Owl

  1. #1
    BPN Member gail bisson's Avatar
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    Default Northern Hawk Owl

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    This northern hawk owl has been a star resident in the east end of Ottawa this winter. He had not been seen the weekend before I got there but
    I got lucky and found him as I walked a man made snow path in the woods. He was very active and this is a picture of him caching a rodent. You can see the little bit of blood on the snow.
    Not baited.
    Canon 1 DX 600mm handheld
    ISO 1600 SS 1/1000 f 6.3
    Cropped to full vertical and I cloned out one intruding branch on RHS,
    Comments and critiques always appreciated and learned from with thanks,
    Gail

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    Avian Moderator Randy Stout's Avatar
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    Gail:

    Nicely exposed (although I might pull back the snow to the left of the bird a few points to improve detail) ,good DOF, strong eye contact, soft BG.

    I find the loose bark by the head a bit distracting. Just personal taste, I might try moving the bird a bit to the right in the frame if you have the data to work with.

    Pretty impressive shooting the 600 handheld. I can't hold mine for very long.

    Cheers

    Randy
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    BPN Member Dorian Anderson's Avatar
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    This is one my photo dream species; I've only seen one - in Upstate NY - and that was well before I discovered photography. I think this is a strong frame and as good as you were to get given the setting. The eyes are outstanding, and the little touch of
    blood you reference is nice. The bird is well-exposed - snow to left is a bit hot - but the feather detail isn't quite as crisp as you other recent frames. It's good, just not razor sharp like your amazing quetzals.

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    BPN Member dankearl's Avatar
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    I have seen a lot of this guy so I am a bit jaded... The bird looks great though and a really
    nice stare at you.
    Dan Kearl

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    I love the bird but that post running right through his head and stuff that's peeling off really spoils this one for me...the owl is somewhat lost in the perch and the post... not much you could do but hope he perches on something nice next time :)

    TFS
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    BPN Member gail bisson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arash_hazeghi View Post
    I love the bird but that post running right through his head and stuff that's peeling off really spoils this one for me...the owl is somewhat lost in the perch and the post... not much you could do but hope he perches on something nice next time :)

    TFS
    Hi Arash,
    The post is actually the tree that has died and the bark has been peeled back by various birds like the owl (peeling the bark away from the tree to hide the vole) and woodpeckers. But I do have an image with a better perch and will post!
    Gail
    Last edited by gail bisson; 02-19-2020 at 05:19 AM.

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    Hey, I know that guy! The peeling bark next to the head is unfortunate, but I like everything else. The bits of blood tell a larger part of the story too. You meant west end of Ottawa.

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hi Gail ... i would call this a record shot . You have posted way better stuff .
    Image does not have the critical sharpness and the contrast is boosted too much for my taste . The strong blacks are masking any visible details .
    But good to see the species .... at least for me .
    TFS Andreas

    HH the 600 with 1/1000 sec .... well well

  9. #9
    BPN Member gail bisson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas Liedmann View Post
    Hi Gail ... i would call this a record shot . You have posted way better stuff .
    Image does not have the critical sharpness and the contrast is boosted too much for my taste . The strong blacks are masking any visible details .
    But good to see the species .... at least for me .
    TFS Andreas

    HH the 600 with 1/1000 sec .... well well
    You are a hard taskmaster Andreas!! I did not touch the contrast slider for this image but did increase the blacks in LR by +11. I will have a look at this file again.
    And to further impress you with my HH skills, I walked in snow up to my knees with my 600mm and my 100-400 on my Rapid Strap for 8.5 km (according to my iPhone) that day.

  10. #10
    Avian Moderator Stu Bowie's Avatar
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    Hi Gail, I knew I would find this as a higher resolution than on the 'other' site. Just love, love the stare here, with those large eyes. Good DOF on the Owl, and overall, the father detail stands out. The hint of blood adds interest, and I agree with Randy, to move the Owl over to the RHS a tad. Well captured.

    Great pose in pane #9.

  11. #11
    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Sorry Gail ... i am , as i am . But you are not alone ....who feels that way !!!
    I am impressed about your fitness and skills .... but the end result shows you should improve more . Even at this low res file the shortcomings are showing up .... wonder how this does look when printed .

    Hope you do try to bann me from here .....

    Kind regards .... Andreas ( the hidden Mr Nice )

  12. #12
    BPN Member gail bisson's Avatar
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    Here is a redo using the very next frame as it might be a bit sharper.
    I moved the owl slightly to the right as suggested. I do not think the blacks are blocked on the owl (we have to agree to disagree on this one Andreas!)
    I also reduced the brightness in the snow on the left of owl but it was blown on the RAW so not much to be done except try a luminosity mask on the area but it didn't do much.
    Not sure if this is any better but I like to try out things as people suggest.
    Gail

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Does look better .... burnt is burnt , no luminosity mask does help !!!

    Just for the sake of interest ... why do you use the black slider ???? What is it good for ??? And even worst use it in LR .... IMHO !!

    Using curves is the key for controlling the blacks / contrast in combo with luminosity masks . The black slider is the quick & dirty way with no real control ....

    Why do you not know idf this is better ???? Check yourself side by side .... and judge !!!

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    Such neat looking owls. Nice of the owl to give you that look back. Detail looks better in the repost. But i would take either anyday. Good thinking on the vertical crop. Nice and sharp.

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    BPN Member William Dickson's Avatar
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    I like the repost...and I can see the story with the peeling bark.....Looks good here Gail. Lovely detail and a great look back pose. The BG 'fits' nicely. I would be more than chuffed if I had captured this one.

    Well done

    Will

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    this one isn't working for me keep as a record but it's just not that good for someone like you.
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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas Liedmann View Post
    Just for the sake of interest ... why do you use the black slider ???? What is it good for ??? And even worst use it in LR .... IMHO !!
    The black slider is excellent in LR, I use it regularly with great effect for images taken in cloudy conditions. A much underrated tool.

  18. #18
    BPN Member gail bisson's Avatar
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    Hi Daniel,
    Yes, you are correct re: West Ottawa! Thanks for spotting my error.
    Gail

  19. #19
    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Cadieux View Post
    The black slider is excellent in LR, I use it regularly with great effect for images taken in cloudy conditions. A much underrated tool.
    No problem Daniel as long as one is happy using it , it is simple one slider and one effect. I prefer the more detailed and elegant way , with more control of what is called black . And not letting Adobe tell me what is black ....

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