Pre-dawn Great-horned Owl

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I was going out to start a sprinkler this morning and when I opened the porch door I saw this owl perched in a dead tree on the edge of our neighbor’s property. I went back in got the camera and the tripod I’d been using yesterday for flower photography (not as sturdy as my birding tripod but already extended and ready to go). It let me work around far enough to get the tree in the background. I used the camera timer and electronic shutter to avoid camera shake but there was some motion in the tree it was perched on and the background tree so there’s just a hint of motion blur in the owl and a bit more in the tree behind it.

Specific Feedback

Is the motion blur sufficient to ruin the image?

Technical Details

Sony A1, FE200-600 + 1.4 TC @ 840 mm, tripod with ball head, f/9, 1/5 sec, iso 1600, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 6200x4200. Taken at 6:29 this morning.

Hi Dennis, I like the composition of the image with the bird in the upper left looking down to the space on right. The motion blur is noticeable in the larger version. While not a throw away, the blur for me would make this a nice documentary shot of a great bird and moment.

Lovely find and great improvization!! The motion blur doesn’t bother me (did I just say that??) but I wonder if you’ve gone as far as practical with bringing up shadows and lowering highlights? (Might need to compensate with a tiny bit of Clarity.

Hi Dennis
The fact you have his clean of a photograph at1/5sec, is amazing. For my two cents, I would like to see a little tighter crop.