Short-eared Owl

I took this shot last April. It was at about 7:00 p.m. and the light was fading fast. The owl took off and as it turned to face the setting sun I took the shot.

What technical feedback would you like if any?


What artistic feedback would you like if any?


Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If backgrounds have been removed, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Canon 7DMkII, Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM + 1.4x III @ 420 mm.
1/1250, f/8.0, ISO 800

If you would like your image to be eligible for a feature on the NPN Instagram
You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Excellent light, especially on the face. Even though there are some dark areas you’ve done a good job with the detail. Unfortunately you have some disturbing out of focus elements in the background and I took the liberty of removing those for you and tightening up the sharpness with AI clear.

Wonderful flight shot of the owl. Good facial detail and slight blur in the wings to suggest motion. I think David’s re-working helps to remove the distraction background a let the owl really stand out.

Superb detail in the facial disk, Patrick, and I like the low angled light. If you don’t mind cloning a bit, David’s work on the background is an excellent example of what can be done.

A very good image.

David, Allen and Dennis,

Thanks for the comments and suggestions and thank you David for going to the trouble to work up that example.

I guess I thought of the structure in the background as a kind of environmental element but I see your points.


This is a beauty. The light is excellent, detail clean and clear, and the whole atmosphere conveys the sense of… owliness, so to say.

Thanks, Antonello. I appreciate the kind comment.