BIRDS 63 – SPECTACLED OWL: AS IS, AND THEN SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE FICTIONAL

 

 

Spectacled Owl
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Spectacled Owl at the International Centre for Birds of Prey, Newent, Gloucestershire; 2 July 2014.

Two points to make.  First, this is a Spectacled Owl >>> as far as I know.  I made a list of the different species that I photographed at ICBP, but omitted the four frames of this one – but from a google search this appears to be the identification.

The shot was taken with the D700 and a 70-300 Nikkor zoom at 300mm; 1600 ISO.  The upper, colour version has been processed with Color Efex Pro 4, used lightly as is my preference for this excellent software.  The lower version was produced with Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Tin Type preset, and reintroducing colour to the eyes, and also adding some grain.  I don’t generally like restoring colour to something as obvious as eyes but here it helps the image I think – it looks rather flat without the colour.

To me, the colour version is striking, but its also a straight representation and for that reason rather lacking in atmosphere – except that I’m looking deeply into the eyes of a proficient nocturnal killer.  The black and white version looks older, wilder perhaps – like something out of a gothic tale???  What do you think?

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spectacled-owl-mono
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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

26 Responses to BIRDS 63 – SPECTACLED OWL: AS IS, AND THEN SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE FICTIONAL

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    Colour shot all the way!!!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, I agree – thank you! A

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      • Sonali Dalal says:

        I have to give you wonderful news. I think i told you how down i was feeling about my photography. Particularly after my long drawn recovery,which is still going on after 3 months.i went on editing old photos. I felt that my imaginationhas run dry.suddenly, out of the blue, i got a good news. Lalitkala Academy, most prestigeous institution in India, which promots arts and artists has selected (my state branch) me for giving grant for photography. Under which i have to hold solo exhibition within next 6 months. For which all expenses will be paid by them, except printing charges. One of my photos will become part of their archive. I am jumping with joy, forgetting my recently mended knees :). My life is returned to me. Now i itch to do photography and more. 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Adrian Lewis says:

          This is absolutely wonderful news, my friend – well deserved, and the perfect tonic for the long and painful recovery that you are enduring! I’m extremely happy and pleased for you! 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!

          Are you going to use your pre-existing images, or go looking for more? Is Lalitkala happy to exhibit images that have already been exhibited elsewhere? How many photos are needed? I ask this because 6 months is not a long time to assemble a completely new exhibition, and especially so if your mobility is impaired.

          And do the photos need to be on a theme, or are you looking at a retrospective of your work – which would be an excellent thing. What about that wonderful one of a young girl that you sent to me? Whenever I look at that picture I cannot help both smiling, and being greatly impressed.

          Well done, my friend, very well done. Adrian 🙂

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          • Sonali Dalal says:

            Thanks :). My mind is going in circles. I can’t shoot new pictures. Still I will try. I have a collection which I have not displayed anywhere or not uploaded anywhere. May be I will go with that. I have to display 30 pictures minimum. No clarification regarding old or new. I want to print on archival paper to give them texture. Once I finalise my pictures I will definitely share with you.

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            • Adrian Lewis says:

              This is your show – literally! So its your say on how you will do it. But two things occur to me.

              First, you should clarify if the organisers require previously unexhibited images or not. Then, if not, and in view of your current uninspired feelings about your photography, you might think of your best / favourite images, from a range of genres, over the past, say 5 or 10, years??? (Your best from “She” should certainly be there)

              Because if indeed you have problems shooting at the moment, and in view of this exhibition’s prestigious nature, it might be better to go with immediately available, established quality. A

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              • Sonali Dalal says:

                I am going with old images as yet unexhibited. I think they want unexhibited images. I have started photography since last 4.5 years. I have a 2 collections including she which is yet unexhibited. So will think of using them. I need to establish a theme , an idea so people can co relate all pictures.

                Please go on giving your inputs. They are valuable. Thanks Adrian 🙂

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                • Adrian Lewis says:

                  Oh I had not realised you started photography so recently – you have come a long way!

                  For making an impact, and in view of the fact that photography in India is male-dominated and you are a brilliant exception, and also in view of all the recent stuff on the news about the status of women in India (= topical news / politics), at least some of “She” might be the thing.

                  And you need to give this top priority – reduce your social media involvement if necessary – social media will still be there after the exhibition is up and running. A 🙂

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                  • Sonali Dalal says:

                    Thanks :). I never held a camera till 4 years ago. I didn’t even know that there is anything beyond point and shoot. Funnily enough i started with dslr and was hooked. Became a passion which has changed my life.

                    Yes, my “she” series is close to me. Indian womanhood is being exploited each day. Situation is getting bad to worst. My series is my way of protesting against it. I was thinking presenting this exhibition locally will reduce its canvas. How about sending it to national magazine and get the wider audience? I have not shared these photos anywhere except WordPress. Still have few more to share. Will email to you those images. Your feedback is very important to me.

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                    • Adrian Lewis says:

                      National mag for a wider audience is fine – but is this before or after the exhibition – as exhibition people may not like it published in a mag either (a) at all or (b) before the exhibition.

                      Why not email me low quality versions of the whole She series – it might take >1 email, but that’s no problem. A

                      Like

                    • Sonali Dalal says:

                      yes! I intend to send it to you. Within next 2-3 days i will send you all. I can’t wait to know your opinion 🙂

                      Like

  2. LensScaper says:

    I have to say I prefer the colour shot, Adrian. Why? because this is a ‘proficient nocturnal killer’ and the beak is crucial to that role and in the colour image it stands out so well. Although I like the B&W with the selective colour in the eyes, it’s the absence of that ‘stand-out’ beak from the B&W version that is missing. I think I would have experimented with a harsher contrast (without grain) to get a prominent beak, but those eyes are magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Andy, these are good points and I think you’re absolutely right. I’ve been looking at the mono version and can’t say I’m absolutely satisfied with it, and more contrast, less grain, and emphasising that killer beak may well have helped. Thank you for your wise thoughts, my friend! A

      Like

  3. Emily Gooch says:

    Great capture, Adrian. I like both versions. Though, it’s interesting how the processing changes the feel of the image. The first version, the owl’s eyes look intense and inquisitive. In the 2nd version, the eyes look sleepy and kind of bored. I don’t know what it is about your images that often makes me see such weird thoughts… 🙂

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Emily, you’re absolutely right about the differences in the eyes, I hadn’t noticed that – the upper image certainly looks more actively involved with the camera and me, the lower image is almost slightly fading and receding – thanks for that insight!

      And thank you for all the good things you’ve said about my pictures – those thoughts mean a lot to me! I wish you a very good weekend! Adrian

      Like

  4. Meanderer says:

    I like both. Wonderful portraits – and quite intense with such a close crop.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, I think that cropping in close and looking into those eyes is the thing, far more impact than just looking at the bird as a whole. I’m glad you enjoy these pictures – thank you!

      Like

  5. krikitarts says:

    This is inspired work, Adrian. Rather than “fictional,” though, I’d say “whimsical.” The eyes of the owl, possibly even more than those of other birds of prey, seem uniquely able to look into our depths and consider what they see. I really like both versions, but your further development lends it an additional, deep layer of noir mystery.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Gary, thank you very much indeed! I agree with you about owls’ penetrating stares – looking into us rather than at us – I have no doubt that I am deeply in love with natural things, these days, in my sixth decade, that love is almost palpably increasing.

      And “noir” is a good word, I hadn’t thought of that. Thank you again. Adrian

      Like

  6. Wow (first image)!! As my grandson used to say when he was little (about 2 years old), “… hold on, hold on… I need to ‘tink’ about this” !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I love “tink”, Henrietta!!! >>> aren’t kids just adorable at that age? My two used to get words mixed up, so we would be cooking kitchen in the chicken …

      I’m happy you like the picture – thank you! Adrian 🙂

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      • Aaahahaha!!! I Love that, Adrian!! I may just have to use that line in a children’s story, if you don’t mind <3!! 😀 !! Yes… I absolutely LOVE unobtrusively watching and listening to children as they interact 😀 !!

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        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Of course you can use that line, and please don’t feel that you have to attribute it to me – I’m very glad to be of help. I love small kids because they make me laugh and smile – and also because they have a different way of looking at things, of looking at the world, and I’m absolutely fascinated to hear about their thoughts. A 🙂

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  7. galaxyofspectrum says:

    Reblogged this on My Blog [Galaxy of Spectrum].

    Like

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