After dark in Boundary Bay
After watching a Barn owl hunt across the long grass marsh flats at Boundary Bay through dusk in mid-March, I was packing up when I saw a Snowy owl perched on a log. It was about 100 yards away but the white oval shape stood out distinctively against the blues and blacks of evening.
I worked my way along the levee towards the bird and it just stared at me as I stopped about 50 feet away. We stared at one another for a minute and then the owl whipped its head around and cocked it towards some sound or motion I was oblivious to. It didn’t attack and went back to looking around for a while. A few minutes later, it launched onto another large piece of driftwood which was closer to the ground.
From there, the snowy stalked along the wood and ended up jumping into the grass at one point. It stayed in the grass for a little bit but I didn’t see whether it was successful in catching something or not.
The bay was dark by this time and I left the owl as it flew to another perch nearby. I had a few great encounters in Boundary Bay – I’m already excited to go back soon.
Great shots! What did you do to take them? Did you use a tripod, etc.?
April 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm
Thanks for your questions. In the failing light, I was doing as much as I could to get sharp images. That included the lens on a gimbal head and tripod; open aperture (f/4.0 with this 500mm lens); high ISO (between 1600 and 6400 – the Canon 5D Mark III I was shooting with controls high ISO very well up to 5000 but is a wee bit noisy at 6400 – the Nikon D3 and D700 do even better but all are amazing compared to film or even digital of just a couple of years ago). With the white subject, I was able to use higher shutter speeds than a dark subject would have allowed. If I was shooting a hawk in that low light, it would have been hard to expose the darker plummage well and still have a fast enough shutter speed to stop the slight motion that occurs even when the bird was perched.
April 16, 2013 at 11:22 am
Fabulous photos. I particularly like the first one. Composition is spot on.
April 12, 2013 at 10:22 am
These are stunning.
April 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm
Love the first one – never seen it like this in such a high-contrast situation.
April 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm
That first photo is wonderfully composed.
April 10, 2013 at 11:13 am