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Short-eared Owls in flight
  
 
kwilliam8
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Short-eared Owls in flight


Congratulations to kwilliam8 for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 15 votes - View Previous Winners


After having gone to nearby Leque Island several times over this winter, I decided to finally focus on getting images of short-eared owls in flight. For those that would like to see broader images showing the area and environment, I encourage you to look for some of my more recent posts to this board. I went to Leque Island this last Monday, when the weather was unusually nice. After walking around a bit, I decided to hang out with another local photographer at one area, and we waited almost an hour with very little activity. With sunset approaching, the activity picked up considerably. The following images were taken within a 30 minute period of time (just prior to sunset). All images were taken with a Nikon D500 camera, using the Nikon 500mm f/4 FL lens, with the latest Nikon 1.4x teleconverter attached. I shot this combination using a monopod, standing at the south western corner of one of the fields. I hope folks donít mind the large number of images. Comments and feed-back are welcome!
Keith W.






1. ISO 640, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






2. ISO 720, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






3. ISO 900, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






4. ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






5. ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






6. ISO 900, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






7. ISO 1000, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






8. ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






9. ISO 900, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






10. ISO 720, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






11. ISO 720, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






12. ISO 900, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






13. ISO 1100, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






14. ISO 1000, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






15. ISO 1100, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec






16. ISO 1250, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec



Feb 17, 2017 at 09:22 AM
brian_sp
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Short-eared Owls in flight


outstanding set of images Keith, you nailed each of them exquisitely!


Feb 17, 2017 at 10:24 AM
Herb Houghton
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Short-eared Owls in flight


Excellent set Keith. I may have cropped them a tad looser if they were mine. Great job !


Feb 17, 2017 at 10:54 AM
eyelaser
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Short-eared Owls in flight


These are brilliant. Were you shooting with auto-ISO engaged? The quality of the images is superb. Can you give an idea of the original size of the image so as to have an idea of how large a crop these might be. Btw, in this one post you have 16 more in flight SEO shots than I do. To say I'm a bit jealous would be an understatement.
Eric



Feb 17, 2017 at 11:06 AM
Pius Sullivan
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Short-eared Owls in flight


Nice work, Keith.

Pius



Feb 17, 2017 at 11:30 AM
arbitrage
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Short-eared Owls in flight


Wow Keith these are stunning shots in beautiful light with super detail (wouldn't expect less from that gear).
Dynamic poses documenting the hunting behaviour of this beautiful owl.

TFS
Geoff



Feb 17, 2017 at 01:19 PM
surfnron
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Short-eared Owls in flight


This is a super set Keith. 10 and 15 stand out ~ Ron


Feb 17, 2017 at 01:29 PM
morris
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Short-eared Owls in flight


These are excelent Keith

Morris



Feb 17, 2017 at 01:37 PM
mspencer1
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Short-eared Owls in flight


Spectacular set!


Feb 17, 2017 at 01:43 PM
Warkari
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Short-eared Owls in flight



What an amazing set of pictures, Keith! All are so good its hard to pick a favorite.

- Amit



Feb 17, 2017 at 01:48 PM
 

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mikedec
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Short-eared Owls in flight


Beautiful set of shots. Really enjoyed seeing these.


Feb 17, 2017 at 02:20 PM
JSW3
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Short-eared Owls in flight


Wow - Beautiful images. Looks like great light and high IQ in these. The bg is smooth and the color works well with the subject. Tack focus and good detail. I shoot with the same gear and have found I get better IQ at f6.3 than f5.6 with the 1.4III but your shots look great here. What focus settings are you using for bif?


Feb 17, 2017 at 03:28 PM
mitesh
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Short-eared Owls in flight


Fantastic set, Keith! Just beautiful light, and your capture technique and processing have really produced some sharp images. You've got a vote from me!


Feb 17, 2017 at 09:23 PM
RobAmy
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Short-eared Owls in flight


Excellent


Feb 17, 2017 at 09:30 PM
Thao_Nguyen
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Short-eared Owls in flight


WOW!!! Love it


Feb 17, 2017 at 10:03 PM
kwilliam8
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Short-eared Owls in flight


brian_sp wrote:
outstanding set of images Keith, you nailed each of them exquisitely!


Brian, thanks for your kind words.

---------------------------------------------

Herb Houghton wrote:
Excellent set Keith. I may have cropped them a tad looser if they were mine. Great job !


Herb, thanks! I did crop more loosely on some of my other excursions - just not for this outing.

---------------------------------------------

eyelaser wrote:
These are brilliant. Were you shooting with auto-ISO engaged? The quality of the images is superb. Can you give an idea of the original size of the image so as to have an idea of how large a crop these might be. Btw, in this one post you have 16 more in flight SEO shots than I do. To say I'm a bit jealous would be an understatement.
Eric


Eric, thanks! Yes, I shot these with auto-ISO engaged (fixing f-stop and shutter speed). The original image sizes are 20MB. Here are the (cropped) sizes of each of the images above: 4.8, 2.5, 3.4, 4.2, 2.7, 4.0, 4.8, 5.8, 4.8, 3.5, 5.7, 3.7, 5.7, 5.6, 4.2, and 4.2. Here is a typical uncropped image, with very little post processing (this image also demonstrates some challenges to shooting in this area):






---------------------------------------------

Pius Sullivan wrote:
Nice work, Keith.

Pius


Pius, thanks!

---------------------------------------------

arbitrage wrote:
Wow Keith these are stunning shots in beautiful light with super detail (wouldn't expect less from that gear).
Dynamic poses documenting the hunting behaviour of this beautiful owl.

TFS
Geoff


Geoff, thank you very much!

---------------------------------------------

surfnron wrote:
This is a super set Keith. 10 and 15 stand out ~ Ron


Ron, thanks, and thanks for your picks!

---------------------------------------------

morris wrote:
These are excelent Keith

Morris


Morris, thanks!

---------------------------------------------

mspencer1 wrote:
Spectacular set!


Mspencer1, thanks!

---------------------------------------------

Warkari wrote:
What an amazing set of pictures, Keith! All are so good its hard to pick a favorite.

- Amit


Amit, thank you very much!

---------------------------------------------

mikedec wrote:
Beautiful set of shots. Really enjoyed seeing these.


Mike, thanks - much appreciated!

---------------------------------------------

JSW3 wrote:
Wow - Beautiful images. Looks like great light and high IQ in these. The bg is smooth and the color works well with the subject. Tack focus and good detail. I shoot with the same gear and have found I get better IQ at f6.3 than f5.6 with the 1.4III but your shots look great here. What focus settings are you using for bif?


John, thank you very much! My focus settings are the following:
1. I have fine-tuned the focus for this combination of body, lens, and TC.
2. The lens has VR turned off, and the focus limit switch is set to 8m to infinity.
3. I use back button focus and continuous autofocus mode.
4. AF area mode = 72 point dynamic area.
5. I typically use the center autofocus point to lock on focus, and that way (with 72 point dynamic area), the central 45 AF points will be cross type sensors. I shoot, planning to crop my images.
6. A3 setting (focus tracking with lock on):
6A. Blocked Shot Response = 4 (sometimes I will set this to 3, however)
6B. Subject Motion = normal

---------------------------------------------

mitesh wrote:
Fantastic set, Keith! Just beautiful light, and your capture technique and processing have really produced some sharp images. You've got a vote from me!


Mitesh, thank you very much!

---------------------------------------------

RobAmy wrote:
Excellent


Rob, thanks!

---------------------------------------------

Thao_Nguyen wrote:
WOW!!! Love it


Thao, thank you!

Keith W.



Feb 17, 2017 at 10:59 PM
kmunroe
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Short-eared Owls in flight


awesome job on the owl Keith


Feb 18, 2017 at 01:26 AM
Karl Witt
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Short-eared Owls in flight


You had marvelous light for these Keith. I was under the assumption that most often it is much later light that these are up in flight. My gosh the eye contact is superb in these!
Wonderful work on the IF shooting, great poses, as expressed by others details and color look great, good harmony with photographer and gear


I enjoyed them all!
Karl



Feb 18, 2017 at 02:05 AM
kwilliam8
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Short-eared Owls in flight


kmunroe wrote:
awesome job on the owl Keith


Kenny, thanks! Btw, there are more than a few owls at this location (during winter).

---------------------------------------------

Karl Witt wrote:
You had marvelous light for these Keith. I was under the assumption that most often it is much later light that these are up in flight. My gosh the eye contact is superb in these!
Wonderful work on the IF shooting, great poses, as expressed by others details and color look great, good harmony with photographer and gear

I enjoyed them all!
Karl


Karl, thank you very much! Shorties, at least around here, are most active from about an hour before sunset to about an hour after sunset. I assume that is true in the morning too. However, perhaps surprisingly, I have seen at least some SEO activity through out the entire daylight hours.

Keith W.




Feb 18, 2017 at 02:37 AM
Ted ellis
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Short-eared Owls in flight


Great series Keith


Feb 18, 2017 at 01:00 PM
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