BIRDS 76 – GREAT GREY OWL 3 (MONO + COLOUR)
July 17, 2015 8 Comments
During the years 1967-2002 I was a totally committed and enthusiastic birdwatcher. This interest shaped my life not a little – for example it sent me to live in Kenya, to see African birds – and, before that, it had taken me behind the Iron Curtain.
I have never seen the Great Grey Owl on the wild, but have always been spellbound by that majestic face – and the prospect of photographing it was my main reason for going to ICBP. Some of the birds there were tethered in the open but many were in cages, and I had to accept this arrangement – it is after all a fact and necessity of life in a situation like this.
Having spent a lot of time looking at natural things in the wild, zoos and TV nature programmes just don’t do it for me any more – I would far rather see some less exotic natural thing “for real”, than witness something far rarer and more dramatic either in a pen or on a screen. And as long ago as the 1980s I can remember showing my safari clients incredible natural things – only to hear that they’d already seen them on TV – some people really do have very little imagination!
But still, that rant and those points having been got off my chest, it was an experience to be with this sadly caged and solitary individual. The place was quiet and there was no one else around, the few people there being elsewhere watching a flying display. So that I was able to spend a long time with this bird, keeping quiet and making no sudden movements. I looked at him, he looked at me and, losing interest after awhile, he started looking elsewhere. And after another while, and very gently, I raised the 70-300’s great and shaded glass eye, and started carefully releasing the shutter.
And when it was time to leave, leaving was not something done lightly.
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D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 6400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Dramatic preset and selectively restoring colour.