Burrowing owl portrait

The burrowing owl activities start to pick up here in Southern California. Here is a portrait of one of the adult female from one of our local burrows standing guard next to the nest. All feedbacks are welcome.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If backgrounds have been removed, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Interestingly, this is a focus stack of two frames shot in a burst. One image has the focus landed right on the nose and the other a little further back in the head. Auto-aligned on PS and then hand blended.

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Excellent portrait of this owl, Adhika. I was really surprised to read that you stacked 2 images together, as usually, even in a quick burst of frames, living creatures move slightly. So glad that worked out for you like that. I will have to keep that in mind, as sometimes the focus is just off in one area or another, and it might be possible to improve the end result by stacking. I sure would not have known that you stacked, unless you told me. Wonderful details, and a nice background to compliment the owl. I just love their “big eyed” stares! :call_me_hand::call_me_hand:

Thanks, Shirley! I don’t think the stacking improves it by much. I think the focus falls off pretty naturally but with stacking the leg is now sharp and I think it adds a little bit to the image if it is printed big. But yeah, shooting in burst gives some opportunities to “fix” errors in the field.

Very nice details the burrowing owl. Nice that he/she gave you that nice in the camera look.

I’d enjoy more space all the way around to help with the context of the image. Always a trade off…

Thanks, @Keith_Bauer I do have another frame where I shot the bird horizontally. This might give a little more context to the image.

@Adhika_Lie I like this composition more than the original post. Just feels less cramped. Just a personal preference I guess.

Great low angle and eye contact. I like the subtle texture in the soft OOF background, Well done.

Nice direct look from the owl Adhika, and the techs are perfect. I agree with Keith on the composition and prefer the second post for that reason, but both comps work.

Yes both comps work for me too. Love the head on look and those eyes are amazing. Terrific frame.

I like both images but I think the second image with the horizontal crop works best for me. Good job on the detail, color, and background.