owl, black and white, BW, Sony NEX 6, forest

The sun was already well below the horizon and the evening air was a deep chill, when I made a last second decision to take a sharp turn into a former farm, now a 365 acre conservation area, in a nearby town.  Ten mile of trails beckoned and I planned to only go far enough to be able to turn and get back to the parking lot before I lost the light completely.  In other words, not far.

Not 100 feet down the trail, something dark grey caught my eye against the light grey sky.  I kept walking but slowly, and this fellow eyed me intently, turning his head just enough to follow my path.

I stopped.  He stopped.  I stared.  He stared.

But I got the best of him.  You see, I had a camera.

Sony NEX 6, manual exposure, f/5.6, 1/80s, ISO 2000.  Edited in LR 4.


About Ed Spadoni "Thoughts and opinions, resources and experiences… for emerging photographers everywhere."
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10 Responses to Knowing

  1. Good morning Ed.

    Wonderful shot of an owl. Just goes to show, that old adage is true, “Always take your camera with you because you never know…”.

    On my way to Baltimore the other day I ran into a sight rarely seen…an eagle at his kill. I’m enclosing a shot of the eagle perched on the carcass of a deer. He was picking at it, completely oblivious of his surroundings. I was able to get quite close (about 10 feet) and shoot away. When I returned later that day, the eagle and the deer were gone. Glad I got the shot(s) when I did…

    Now I do not wish to upset any readers as the image is fairly graphic (i.e. the deer is now clearly carrion and the eagle is clearly eating)…but…it is the natural order of things (and eagles do eat).

    Frank V.

  2. Rodney says:

    Wow Ed!! I love this shot. Could be the perfect B&W shot to me! I have never captured an owl on camera, and it is one of my dreams! I love the bare branches that try to “hide” the owl into the scenery. And I like the shadowy look in the corners of the photo, I presume you added that in post production? It looks like it was a gray, “spooky” evening or the B&W just makes it that way. Either way, this is fantastic. Thanks for posting.

    And Frank, nice shots of the eagle! I have seen eagles along the Chesapeake, but none near the city. I actually saw an eagle in Maine swoop up a baby cormorant once. It was quite the spectacle. I got a few photos of it, but none that are that great. Well done with your crispness of the eagles colors and feathers.

    • Hey Rodney,

      The shot was actually taken at the Aberdeen Proving Ground (about 1/2 hour north of Baltimore). I was on my way to Baltimore for a shoot, when I saw the eagle and grabbed my camera and took the shot (the detail is easy to get when you’re just 10 feet away). Fantastic opportunity…that’s why I ALWAYS take my camera with me!

    • Ed Spadoni says:

      Good eye Rodney… I added a vignette around the edges. I had tried to lighten the image but the results were ugly, so I decided to go with the gray and let the feel of the day come through. Thanks, Ed.

  3. Jennifer Butler Basile says:

    I just got my first owl shot last week. Shared it with an avid birder who added it to his ‘bird folder’. Felt like I’d arrived!

    Love quiet, special moments like that in the woods when time seems to stop.

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