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Finally I managed to get out for a few hours with Rich, starting my winter photography of short eared owls. FotoBuzz readers will know of my obsession as I have published a few articles on my work with them in the FotoStory section. I just love them, they are amazing birds to watch, very rewarding if you give them space and respect and look stunning when backlit.
When we arrived at the site there were already a lot of camouflage clad people there. Most of them appeared to be standing completely in the open, which Rich and I know doesn't always work the best with shorties as they will keep their distance and wheel away. Of course sometimes they don't and you get lucky, but in general the less obvious you are the closer they come.
Interestingly everyone was setup shooting with the sun behind them. For owls I much prefer to shoot into the light, as the wings light up beautifully and you can underexpose enough to wipe out the background. So I sat against a bank shooting back at everyone else, Rich disappeared as his trendy Harkila digital camouflage hid him a treat!
So we waited and after a couple of hours of every owl hunting where we weren't our luck changed. One came and hunted in the setting sun, I had my exposure on the 7D2 down at -2 stops, it locked on nicely. I knew though that there was something wrong with the shot and when I got home I was right. Lighting perfect, composition good enough but the chuffing owl was looking away! It's a nice shot but for me it has to be perfect so I will just have to try again and again and again and again........
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