"Who Cooks for You"

While I’m on the subject of Lake Martin, I thought I’d switch gears for this cooperative Barred Owl I took in March 2011. This was one of six frames, taken at a time when the rookery was more active along the gravel road surrounding that part of the reservoir. Unfortunately it’s not as easy these days. They populate in areas still visible but at greater distances.

All suggestions invited as usual.

Full frame with Olympus E-3 & Zuiko 300 F2.8 on tripod, ISO 100, 1/100 @f5.7, 0EV

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Beautiful portrait, Bill in typically messy habitat, but you caught it very well and it dominates the background sufficiently that it’s not an issue. You might look at darkening the light triangle at the bottom and the patch in the upper right corner. Those are the only two areas I find distracting.

Excellent image.

Hi Bill,

I believe that Dennis’s suggestions for darkening the light areas will improve the comp. Overall, I like the warm brown plumage of the owl as presented…Jim

Typical of these guys to perch in less than favorable places but you managed to present him well in light of the clutter and background. I agree with both Dennis and Jim about darkening the space below the bird. All said, this still comes off as a terrific image Bill.

Thanks @Dennis_Plank, @Jim_Zablotny and @Chuck_Gangas, and I totally agree with you. I had considered that some burning of those areas was needed, but I’m not that skilled with those aspects of Photoshop. I’ll give it a try. The E-3 is only a 10mp sensor, but that 300 Zuiko is amazing glass that I believe made up for it. Thanks again.

The few I have ever seen have always been in cluttered situations in poor light and their eyes were closed or mostly so. You did well. Love the eye contact. Agree that toning down the bright areas would improve.

Fine portrait of this owl, Bill. Excellent comp to go with the pose. The trees and new leaves convey the environment this shot was taken very well.