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Tawny Owl, Strix aluco

By MrBMorris
Taken in The Rancho Texas Park in Lanzarote, my first real attempt at removing and colour correction, the bottom half on the photo was all washed out and grey due to taking the photo through a fence, I'm really pretty proud of it but I hope to get better.

Any help,info or comments would be great!



Tawny Owl, Strix aluco
The Tawny Owl is a nocturnal bird of prey, which hunts mainly rodents. In many parts of America it is also called Barn Owl. It can have either brown or grey plumage colour, which enables it to camouflage with the surrounding trees. Its eyes are big and black. The Tawny Owl is territorial and hunts on rats, shrews, birds and batrachians.

Main characteristics

The Tawny Owl is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa; in central and northern America it shares range with the Striped Owl, in Paraguay, Argentina and Chile with the Rufous-legged Owl. This species is found in deciduous and mixed forests. Bigger sized species prefer mixed forest and mature conifer plantations. The Tawny Owl nests in tree holes. It is fearless in defence of its nest and young.

Scientific classification
The Tawny Owl is a member of the wood-owl genus Strix, part of the typical owl family Strigidae, which belongs to the order Strigiformes. The Tawny Owl’s scientific name is Strix aluco; the Striped Owl’s scientific name is Strix varia and the Rufous-legged Owl’s Strix rufipes.

Tawny Owl, Strix aluco

How are they? The Tawny Owl is a big owl with black eyes. It reaches 37–39cm in length with 1,04m wingspan. The species is sexually dimorphic; the female is much larger than the male. Its wings are short and wide. The plumage colour varies considerably, usually within wood colours. The Tawny Owls of the Iberian Peninsula have reddish or grey plumage colours.
Where do they live? In open areas as well as forests and urban areas.
How is the species geographically distributed? Europe, Asia and North Africa. From the British Islands to China.
What do they feed on? Small mammals and birds.

Tags: General Digitally manipulated Landscape and travel Pets and captive animals Wildlife and nature

Voters: christinecilia, JohnChambersPhotography, bagman and 10 more

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they are great birds lovely photo Grin
6 Apr 2012 4:05PM
Fantastic portrait!
There's so much feather detail here.
cheesey 15 2 United Kingdom
6 Apr 2012 4:16PM
Great shot, very nicely done.
JuBarney Plus
10 34 5 United Kingdom
6 Apr 2012 5:25PM
Nice shot
Growmore 12 4 3 England
6 Apr 2012 6:08PM
Excellent shot and good work in the processing. Gary
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4270 Canada
7 Apr 2012 7:34PM
Hi Ben, I noticed this shot, and was impressed by how you had tried to make a decent shot out of a poor original.

I though I would upload a mod, and provide a few tips in the process.

Im assuming you have Photoshop of some type.

When you take a close look at the original, you can divide it into two sections. The top is reasonable, and the lower part if flat and grey. So from here on, you need to treat it as two shots, and any changes you apply yo one, you must remove from the other, etc.

I started with the bad area at the bottom. I had essentially identify what should be black, and what needed to be white, and adjusted using Threshold and Curves. This made the bottom look better, but the top very dark (like your mod a little. So I removed the changes from the top using a layer mask.

Then the opposite. I worked on the head, adjusting to ensire black = black, while = white, ans alo used the PS shadow tool to extract some eye detail. Again, using a layer mask, I removed all changes made from the lower area.
So what I now have is a relatively balanced shot, and I can now check it out as a whole. A few tweaks and it looks good.
Then composition, - I cropped a little space from the top, and added canvas to the right, filling with the background. This is to improve the composition by moving the Owl off centre a little.

Lastly, and again using a later mask, I darkened the background, especially the upper area to allow the Owl to stand out more.
Finishing touches were a little sharpening. Take a look at the mod to see what this can do, and click the view large option. This is how good you shot can be.

BTW, how in the world did you get away with using 1/50th with a 200mm lens, - did you use a tripod? Handheld would need about 1/400th!

If you have any questions, dont hesitate to ask.

If you find this helpful, dont forget we have the "like" icon, or, if youve found that it can improve your capabilities, thres the Nominate as Constructive link at the bottom.

regards, and a good effort.

MrBMorris 14 27 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2012 2:29PM
Hey Willie,

First off I'd like to apologise for the time it has taken me to reply but I've been fairly busy and traveling about trying to get some more shots.

Thank you for your mod and I really appreciate you taking the time to have a tinker with my image.

When I edited this photo, I was using Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 but now have a full Photoshop package and yes this was taken hand held lol, dunno how..

I treated the image in the same way you did by highlighting the bottom section and changing the curves and a few other bits, I wanted to get the eyes to stand out like you did but to no avail.

I like what you did with the canvas size and the eyes, for me I feel the background is a little to dark and the lighting around the head gives it a fantasy feel.

Thanks again for your comment and help.


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