Photo Essay: Owls

Photo Essay: Owls by Josh Haas

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl © Josh Haas

Burrowing Owl:

After a frustrating couple days on Sanibel Island, we decided to stop at some of our favorite Florida birding areas as we headed back north to the Orlando area.  Our spot for Burrowing Owls didn’t fail us and we happened upon a cooperative bird that was spending time in and out of its burrow one March morning.  The slight angle of the ground and the birds demeanor are just sweet in this image.  The warm morning light sure didn’t hurt either!  This was definitely the shot of the trip and while it’s not the most popular at art shows in Michigan, it still has a special place in our house!

Camera Body & Lens- Canon Rebel T2i, 500mm f4 lens

Aperture- f4.5

Shutter Speed- 1/500th

ISO- 100


Long-eared Owl

Long-eared Owl © Josh Haas

Long-eared Owl Silhouette:

For those that remember an old post from me regarding “The Four Year Image,” this one took even longer!  My wife and I have been going to Whitefish Pt. in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for years.  The first time we spent a sunset on the hawk deck more than seven years ago we were lucky enough to have a couple Long-eared Owls fly through and I immediately had the goal of capturing that as an image.  The image would only fall in place with a perfectly clear sky, the right winds, and an Owl to take flight at the right time in order to capture the light and composition just right.  Every year since that evening, I’ve found myself trying for this image the one weekend in April we are there each spring.  This past spring, the stars aligned.  I had a clear sky, the right winds and a single Owl took flight just in time.  The result, more than seven years was this image and one happy photographer!

Camera Body & Lens- Canon 1D Mark III, 500mm f4 lens with a 1.4x extender

Aperture- f5.6

Shutter Speed- 1/1000th

ISO- 1000


Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl © Josh Haas

Great Gray Owl:

This image is brought to you by way of a 3 hour drive one winter morning beginning at 4am.  The goal was to be set up before first light for a bird that had been incredibly cooperative just days before.  Unfortunately for us, after the long drive we came upon a bird that had a free handout from the evening before.  The bird sat as we waited for hours and hours.  By the end of the day, the bird hadn’t moved and while I was hoping for flight shots of a Great Gray Owl but sometimes, it doesn’t always go the way you planned.  Later that night when I was going through some of my images from the day, I found one with the bird looking straight at the camera.  After a little cropping and some thought into some matting I snuck away with a great image.  Not at all the image I had hoped for but still one I was very happy with!

Camera Body & Lens- Canon Id Mark III, 500mm f4 lens

Aperture- f5.6

Shutter Speed- 1/200th

ISO- 200


Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl © Josh Haas

Snowy Owl:

Talk about a sit and wait bird.  This stunning adult male Snowy Owl was perched on a power pole as I sat waiting and hoping he’d take flight.  Sitting on the ground against the car in sub-zero temps far enough away to not spook the bird is tough.  Holding a 13lb camera rig at the ready hoping action would take place is harder.  Many times, when they do take flight in a scenario like this, they fly in the opposite direction but this bird launched and flew directly past me.  What an exciting event it was!  In the process, I was able to get some shots.  The floating manner this bird took on made it my favorite shot of the group.

Camera Body & Lens- Canon 1D Mark II, 500mm f4 lens with a 1.4x extender

Aperture- f11

Shutter Speed- 1/1250th

ISO- 250

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Josh Haas

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