Some of you may (or may not!) recall an earlier post here where I spoke about my intention to photograph barn owls over the coming few months on private land, in my home region, on the North Kent Marshes. That was 3 months ago and the fruits of my labour (many, many hours) can be seen below. They were taken both from a small wooden hide and my car, depending on the time of day and where they were seen hunting. More often than not the single bird was either too distant for photography or the light too poor. This is an ongoing project and I hope that over the coming months and years, more (stronger) images will come as a result. At this current moment in time, the field is now being occupied by a a pair of short-eared owls which I am enjoying watching and, occasionally, photographing.
Regardless of whether I take any images at all, it’s wonderful to be out overlooking marsh and estuary either as the sun is rising or setting.
For all images, except the landscapes, I used a Nikon D300 with a 300mm f2.8 adding, occasionally, a 1.4x tele-converter. The 300mm never focuses as quickly with the converter and I would much rather sacrifice image size over sharpness, anyday! Also, having a smaller image allows you to produce contextual images, showing the bird within it’s habitat as opposed to a frame-filler which may be more commercial but says little about the environment in which the bird inhabits.
This remote little church lies very close to where I photograph and I couldn’t resist a slight detour en route to the owls.
An unexpected fly-pass! White sitting in my car I saw it land on a nearby oil drum. Not the most fetching of perches, I thought, so I just watched for a minute or two as it preened. I had the camera in my hand and when it took off it flew infront of and then beside me. This is full frame and out of the 6 or so shots I managed to get, this is the sharpest and with the best wing position. Sometimes, you just get lucky!
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About Robert Canis
Robert Canis is a professional photographer specialising in the natural world.
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