Crested Owl & Repost


We spent one morning while at Selva Verde Lodge with an incredibly talented local guide. He’s created his own tiny jungle bird sanctuary, is an accomplished photographer and artist and still finds time to cruise the local wild parcels for interesting birds to show to people like us. This was one of the ones he showed us.

Specific Feedback Requested

Anything. I didn’t use flash, so there’s a bit of green cast on the bird from the reflected light that I chose to leave that way.

Technical Details

Sony A1, FE 200-600 + 1.4 TC @ 741 mm, monopod with Wimberley Sidekick mount, f/9 1/100, iso 8000, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped from a horizontal to 4548 x 5562 with a little canvas added at the top. Taken at 8:53 AM on April 22nd.


Very cool bird. Happy that you got a nice look at him. Based on your settings, the light was obviously very dim. Fully agree on not using a flash on this image since it is an owl.

I do think a bit of balancing of the overall exposure helps the image with more light on the owl and touch less on the background. Here’s a quick example. I’m sure there is more that could be accomplished with the raw file.

My first thought was wether you could bring up some of the shadow detail in the face, which Keith did. I like the pose and how the background provides a nice frame for the owl.


This is a really nice setup. So often we deal with interfering foreground elements or the light of glaring highlights peeking through, but you got a clear look to go with a wonderful distribution of leaves behind. It’s hard to find a better portrait opportunity in the rainforest.

I was hoping for more detail in the dark areas as well, and I think Keith did a nice job showing what’s possible.

@Max_Waugh Yes, Cope. He’s a wonder.

1 Like

Really interesting subject and nice catch of it. Nice setting too with the background leaves even though I see the challenge they create as you mention. Keith’s repost is a nice touch bringing out a little more detail.

Hi Dennis
You have sent us a treasure of great bird photographs. I only have DXO Photo Lab and I do not know what Keith used to rebalance your posting. So based on his post, I played around in DXO using it’s local adjustments on just the owl and found more detail by bring up the exposure, micro contrast, midtones, shadows and lowering the highlights, the owl had a little more pop. Have fun playing.

Great species, wonderful shot and as commented, you couldn’t wish for a better setting in a rain forest. Repost even better. Love it ! Hans