Great Horned Owlet in cottonwood

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


This image is a classic case of right place, right time. I had just parked my car at a quiet local wildlife area and was going to go for a walk when I noticed an adult great horned owl in the top of a cottonwood tree about 50 yds from the parking lot. I was thinking about photographing it when I noticed a pair of eyes staring at me from a hollow in a tree right at the edge of the parking area. This is a pretty heavily cropped image but turned out well due to the short distance to the bird (25 yds or so). I chose to crop it both to highlight the bird and to eliminate the tangle of branches on almost all sides of this image. I snapped a couple quick shots and left the owls to themselves.

Technical Details

This image was shot with a Sony RX-10iv bridge camera which has a crop sensor. It was shot at a 35mm equivalent focal length of 592mm, actual focal length 193mm, f/5.6, 1/250sec, ISO-200. It was bright midday light and the owl was in the shadow. Highlights were reduced and shadows brightened in post.


Great photo and nicely cropped.

Talk about camouflage – this guy really blends in with the tree. You have a terrific image and did a great job seeing. I had to look twice to see the owl. a credit to you in making the image.

Dave: A really great find. Without the eyes this guy would practically be invisible. Luck happens to those who are prepared. Top notch shot. >=))>

Dave, if this youngster closed it’s eyes, you’d never find it! What a great find.