Close Encounter

Posted by ADKShooter on Fri Dec 25, 2020 10:24 pm

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Nikon D810, Nikon 300mm f2.8
ISO 640, 1/1000s, F6.3, Tripod

Please click photo for higher resolution + the image appears a bit underexposed unless clicked.

A few years ago this Great Grey Owl settled into an area in the Adirondacks for a few weeks. I had seen and photographed Great Grey Owls a few times prior to this but decided to take a ride up on a weekday to check it out. I went up one afternoon and waited until he became active hoping to catch him in flight.  It was getting late on a very cold day in early March when shadows from some large pine trees were beginning to cast a shadow over the hillside where he began to hunt a couple of hours after my arrival.  The owl was flying and hunting back and forth and went into the shadow area and the next thing I knew he flew directly at me and landed on this still well lit fence post directly in front of me, no more than 5 feet away. It was much closer than the minimum focus on my lens !! He settled down for a moment and I slowly took one step at a time backwards while trying not to make eye contact with him until I was just far enough back to fit him in. I proceeded to take several shots when he looked directly down the barrel of the lens with a stare that was almost unnerving. Fortunately I caught that moment in this image.

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by dianarebman on Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:28 am
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What an amazing opportunity! Gorgeous image! The perch, light, background and his intense gaze are all perfect!!

by Des on Sat Dec 26, 2020 7:06 am
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Wonderful portrait. I had a very similar encounter with a Short-eared Owl on a farmland a few winters back which I've posted. An incredible experience for sure.



by david fletcher on Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:32 am
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Wow. Amazing story and opportunity Warren. Fabulous. TFS
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by Ed Cordes on Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:50 am
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Great experience in which you took super advantage. Congrats on this perfect portrait.
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by hawksnaturphoto on Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:25 am
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Congratulations beautiful subject and beautiful image, congratulations for the opportunity taken.

by Karl Egressy on Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:42 am
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Nice story and an excellent image. I remember going to a place taking my Canon 500 f 4.0 and 300 f 2.8> at the end of the shooting, I wished I had had a zoom or a shorter lens.

by Dan Kearl on Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:17 pm
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This is very nice. Great opportunity.

by Ron Day on Sat Dec 26, 2020 4:05 pm
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An excellent image and story, Warren! Love the stare. Well done!

by Mary Brun on Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:49 pm
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A really wonderful shot with the owl perfectly focused and wonderfully visible details,
you definitely had a unique experience and I thank you for having shared.
Mary Brun photography - "Trees are the support of the sky, if we cut them down, the firmament will fall over us" - Indios legend 


by Carol Clarke on Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:17 pm
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A wonderful opportunity that you made the very best of, Warren! Gorgeous subject and image.

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by Isaac Grant on Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:34 pm
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Iconic species and a beautiful photo. Congrats

by ADKShooter on Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:41 pm
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Thank you very much to the Editors for the honor of being selected an EP. Much appreciated.

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