Reader’s wildlife photos

By the time you read this, I’ll be up in the air on the way home. But before I leave, here are two new photos by Stephen Barnard from Idaho. His notes are indented:

Nice shot of Boris (an American kestrel, Falco sparverius) this morning. Still no sign of chicks.

Also, an unusual shot of a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) relaxing her wings and warming up in the early morning sun. She had at least two chicks, but they were too obscured to photograph.

11 Comments

  1. Posted May 18, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Very nice Stephen! Looks like spring is well sprung in Idaho.

  2. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Stunning birds of prey!

  3. Jenny Haniver
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    These are neat. In these photos as in previous ones, I find the markings of the birds’ plumage striking. Not ‘exotic’ striking, but something draws my eyes to the patterning in a way that I’m not drawn to such in most other photographs. I know nothing about photography so wonder if it’s due to the distance? the lens? speed? Or simply your gimlet eye finding the sweet spot?

    • Posted May 18, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the compliment. I strive for sharpness above all else in a bird portrait. Other things are important — exposure, composition, resolution, rarity and charm of the subject, etc. — but in my estimation these are insignificant if the photo isn’t sharp. I want to see not just feathers, but individual feather fibers. That may be what’s catching your eye.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted May 18, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        I think I understand what you mean when you speak of the feather fibers. I can see them, and I like it that I can see them, . I also feel an immediacy of the subject in these and other recent photos of yours that PCC(E) has published on this site. Then I look at photos of birds by others,and I’m sure they’re concerned with all the other things you mention, frequently the sharpness of the image, no matter how lovely or interesting, creates a static distance between the image and the viewer. So, I guess I can say that sharpness cuts both ways.

        • Posted May 18, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          Sharpness is just I’m into. Everything else follows. I can take a sharp photo that’s shit, but I can’t take a good photo that isn’t sharp. There are exceptions, like documenting a very unusual sighting, but those are rare and kept private. 🙂

  4. Toni Jordon
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! I find owls fascinating.

  5. Posted May 18, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Love the falcons

  6. Posted May 21, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Steve! Exceptional photo! Our Auga Dulce, CA Greathorneds are marked differently here.
    Are all your owls white-phase?

    Thanks, Uncle Billy

    • Posted May 21, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      The GHOs here have conventional markings. This one looks pale because of the unusual backlighting.

  7. Posted May 21, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Steve! Exceptional photo! Our Auga Dulce, CA Greathorneds are marked differently here.
    Are all your owls white-phase?

    Thanks, Uncle Billy


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