Snowy Owl, monochrome

It was hard to get a good clean view of this Snowy and it flew as I was trying to lower my tripod to get to ground level

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Is the image too dark? Is the tonal range good? (I’m just beginning to work more with B&W for color images it’s very different than working with infrared)

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any help is appreciated.

Any pertinent technical details:

Canon 5D1V 500mm f/4, tripod
ISO 100 f/5.6 , 1/800 sec!

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

The processing is nice, a different take, but Owl photos rarely work with closed eyes.

Hi Hali,
The bird has a sleepy look to it and a sleepy snowy is better than any snowy that I have :blush:.
I don’t do many black and whites but the tones look fine to me and the b&w conversion probably lessens the distractions that would be present in a color version. It looks like there is some over exposure on the left of the bird’s head. I’d call it a keeper and look forward for a better opportunity in the future - I always tell myself there is a better shot out there regardless of what I already have of a species.

POV is fine. I think the bw processing looks quite good as the owl pops in the frame. If you’re comfortable with it, you could clone away the grass blades going through the face.

I’ll be the contrarian here, Hali. Most of the time these birds spend in low contrast surroundings and I find the use of the complete contrast range a bit discocerting. It does establish an interesting mood, but for me, it just doesn’t feel right, so I’d probably move both ends of the brightness scale toward the middle a bit.

Nice to see you posting in the Avian forum.

Thank you Dan, Allen, David and Dennis. I know it’s not ideal to have closed eyes for any bird but it’s especially difficult to achieve an open eye with these owls during the day, especially on as bright a day as we had (hence the blown out area on the left side of the head). I stood with it in 15 degree F and wind for 3 hours and it only opened it’s eyes for a short period of time. I’m hoping to go out again for another try before it goes back home. Dennis, I certainly see your point about it being an unusual processing and very contrast-y, it was what I was aiming for and I didn’t realise in doing moving that far from the actual type of surroundings moves this more towards a fine art rendition of the scene.

It’s been a while since I’ve been on, you hopefully will see some more of me.