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Little Owl Coming To Land

By scope135
Little owl coming to post ,collecting dinner for the four chicks & working hard to feed them, female ♀ little owl Athena Noctua ,pre focused using back button button ,surprising how much s/s is required to freeze these birds so quick 1/2000 th is not enough i had to use 1/4000th .

Tags: Little owl Owl Wildlife and nature Athena noctua Little Athena

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dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1878 England
20 Jun 2021 11:59AM
Welcome back to the Critique Gallery, Paul.

This is way outside my area of expertise, and so my first reaction is that I couldn't do that, even with the mighty zoom you used.

Your comment on shutter speed is interesting, and if I ever do any avian pictures, I shall remember it... I hope!

I'm glad to see someone using back button pre-focussing, instead of blazing away and hoping the AF will keep up: I suspect that it usually doesn't. Clearly, though, this means that there will be many occasions when you don't get perfect focus (and I do know that an A7R III makes this all too apparent!) As far as I can see from the limited-size file that I can download, you got it right here.

Over to the experts who actually shoot similar pictures.
20 Jun 2021 12:09PM
Excellent focus and depth here, a fine action shot.

banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4268 Canada
20 Jun 2021 6:55PM
Its a very nice shot.

Good idea to use +1, and I have to assume that this increased ISO if ISO was set to auto? Correct me if Im wrong..

A close look suggests the bird can be sharpened a little more, easily done. Highlights are well protected, and with light apparently behind the Owl, a little more exposure applied in post processing to all areas apart from the brightest wing areas wont hurt.

Its done in the mod. I also tried a square crop, - simply to reduce the relative size of the post compared to the Owl.

Well done,


scope135 5 1 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2021 11:08PM
Square crop is nice ,but i also like to see the hinge of the post ,auto iso is being used you stand correct. I have another shot with just part section of post in focus so i like this one with rusty hinge.
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1878 England
21 Jun 2021 4:35AM
I understand where you're coming from with the hinge... Sometimes, though, it's important to sacrifice an individually lovely area in a picture for the sake of the overall image, and that may well be the case here. The majority of viewers want to see more of the owl, and aren't that interested in the textures and colours of the hinge, I'd venture. (That's easy for me to say of your picture: I know it would take a while for me to see it with one of my own shots!)
mrswoolybill Plus
14 3.0k 2459 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2021 7:15AM
Not my area, I can really just admire. In the main gallery this would garner votes and probably awards.

Unusually for me, I would leave it uncropped. The full length of the hinge creates a sense of stability, compositional balance, and horizontal for the bird to land on.

Thanks for drawing attention to the importance of shutter speed, it's something that I preach regularly.
wvbarnes 3 3 United Kingdom
27 Jul 2021 7:39PM
Excellent picture regardless of pixel peeping. I like the composition, too much fashion for tight crops with no surrounding interest. As a micro four thirds user I have less glass to lug around (950 gram 100 400 with 800mm field of view) BUT impressed at the 5000 ISO quality you are getting. I guess heavy cropping also possible.

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