Dad and a Juvi (with edited repost)


Keith’s Edited version with better light around the face

This image was from a couple months ago just as the sun was coming up. The Dad (I think) was up top and one of the juveniles was down and behind him in his shadow. There was actually very little light which is why the eyes of the juvi are almost solid black. The background was just an open field of grasses and shrubs. I love the chocolate coloration of the juvi’s much more so that the coloration of the adults. Perch is not ideal but…

Specific Feedback Requested

Let me know if there is anything distracting and if depth of field is a problem or not. I shot wide open @5.6 on the Juvi because of no light.
Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.

Technical Details

Z9, 100-400mm @ 400mm, f/5.6, ISO 1000, 1/500 hand held, manual mode


A truly gorgeous image here, David. The golden light is a key player in bringing this very fine image up a notch. … :sunglasses: :+1:

I can’t spot any DOF problems; in fact the focus looks great, as does that banded BG. I particularly like the fact that - because it’s in father’s shadow - the juvi has to open its eyes/pupils really wide, as you noted. Sweet.

I love it! We assign emotions based on eyes and dad looks miffed and junior is like “what?” Nice catch in some beautiful light. The background is to die for, too. Super. These look to be some of our small owls, but I’ve never seen them so I don’t know. I think I have exactly one owl photo. I never spot them when I’m out.

Beautiful scene David. It’s hard to get two or more birds in focus in the same image, but you nailed their eyes here. The lighting is gorgeous, as is the soft, blurry background.
That Juvi is as big as the dad!

This is a stunning, “wall-hanger” capture IMHO. Way to go. I would not change a thing. (makes me want my Z9 I have ordered even more!)

@David_Haynes - A wonderful capture of these two. Burrowing Owls are very cool subjects. Getting two to pose is really nice. My only suggestion is the juvenile has just a little light at and below his right eye. I wondered what it would look like to dodge just bit more there to accentuate it and bring more to his face. Here’s the result. See what you think.

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Hello, David, an image to die for - love the two of them together. So much to see: the BG, the difference in looks between the parent and the owlet, and also nice to see the effect of shadow on the parents casts on the eyes and hence the wide open pupils. Love it ! Hans

Great shot of these two looking right at you. Poses are perfect and the light and background are very nice.

Wow! This is a wonderful capture, David! I love how they both are looking at you. I love seeing all the beautiful details in their feathers. I think the perch and background is just fine, it doesn’t take away from the stars of the show!

Who ever thought of Burrowing Owls on a stick!?? Wonderful!! Fantastic detail, lighting, poses, perch and BG!! @Keith_Bauer’s lighting tweak is perfect and completely natural.

@Paul_Breitkreuz, @Mike_Friel, @_Kris, @Mark_Muller, @Dave_Douglass, @Keith_Bauer, @Hans_Overduinm @Allen_Brooks, @Vanessa_Hill, @Diane_Miller
I want to thank each of you for your thoughtful comments, suggestions and kind words. Keith, Thanks for the much improved rework. I love it. Thanks so much as t does make quite an improvement.
This family of burrowing owls was one of 4 groups within about a 1/2 mile of each other. All had offspring. This group I shot had 4 successful juveniles. This is the same group of owls that @Larry_Moskovitz shot and posted a couple of months ago. They were relatively tame and used to people. They were frequently so nonchalant about people that it was hard to get them to actually look at you so these little guys were not difficult at all to shoot.

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I’m late to this one, David, but I just wanted to add my congratulations on a fine image. I do agree that adding a bit of light to the juvi’s face puts a final touch to this image.

I also like the composition and soft warm light. Can’t find anything to improve other than a little dodging on the juveniles face. The soft background also helps keep the focus on the owls. Keep up the good work.

Thank you @Dennis_Plank and @Larry_Moskovitz for your nice comments on this image. I agree that the dodging on the Juvi’s face really made this image much better.