2019 Favorite

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Pertinent technical details or techniques: D500 200-400mm f4 (1/500sec at f5.6, Iso 500, 550mm) Levels, rubber stamp tool for grass stem removal on RH side. This one was one of the few bright spots from our Yellowstone trip. The crowds and traffic were unbearable to say the least. Fortunately, I was able to spend our last day by ourselves with this young great gray owl. The bird was hunting grasshoppers in the grass by the cabins at Yellowstone Lake. I had to strategically position myself to avoid the cabin and various obstacles between me and the owl. I also kept backing up as he kept hopping closer to me. I was hoping for an iconic shot of a great gray staring at me from the top of a spruce tree, but it had other plans for me on that day. Enjoy…Jim

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Jim, the separation of the owl and the foreground grasses from the rest of the scene add a lot to this fine view. You’ve caught the intense hunting stare very well and the gray background sets off the owl with well coordinated “color”. Yes, finding quiet in YNP in the height of summer is a challenge.

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Beautiful image, Jim. Far different from the classic “head on” owl shot and I like that. It looks like you got nice and low for this shot and that really made a difference. Very well done.

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Awesome image of this stately owl. I think you should be quite happy and proud you don’t have the “head on” image Dennis mentions. This is a great angle, pose and great job with the processing and managing the bg and grass elements. Kudos.


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Excellent pose and as others have mentioned, different. I like how the well detailed owl blends into the BG.

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If I had taken a photo of an owl this year, I am quite sure it would have been my favorite. But I know it would have been if it turned out this good, Jim.

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A very nice portrait of this owl, Jim! The large version is particularly nice as it has more visible details.

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