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The Living Forest (33) : Little Owl by night by Mark Billiau.

The Living Forest (33) : Little Owl by night 


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18.02.2009 at 8:00h
, License: All pictures © by the senders.
The Little Owl is a thickset small owl species with remarkable fierce yellow eyes.

Location : Nature reserve ‘Walenhoek’ at Niel (Belgium)

Dutch name : Steenuil
German name : Steinkauz
Latin name : Athene noctua

A big thanks to BRYAN CRUTE for the kindly nomination of this picture.


The making of :

While I was waiting for the best light to capture the Blue Hour shot (see below), I heard some rustle now and then in the shrubbery behind my back.
After a while I could see it was a Little Owl.

When the Blue Hour shot was finished, the owl was still sitting there quietly in the bushes.
It was already pretty dark, but I thought why not give it a try.
So I turned the camera on the tripod around for 180 degrees and pointed my lens at the bird.

It was impossible to shoot the owl without using flash light.
To temper the awful hard light of the flash however, I placed a brownish cellophane in front of the flash and all shots were made with an underexposure of 2 stops.

Next problem was the focusing in this dark light condition.
I had to rely on the help of the red auto focus assistant lamp of the camera and hoping it would function well (it did in 80% of the shots).

The owl was hardly visible in the moonlight, but I started shooting, at random.
A first shot. A second one a bit more to the left. Another one a bit more to the right, then a bit more up and a bit more down.
Sometimes the owl jumped a moment to another bush. So, I had to do it again and again and again……..

And the owl ?
Well, he stayed there all the time and watched the light show.

The shot that I uploaded was the best that came out without disturbing branches in front.

Blue hour over the lake by Mark Billiau.
Blue hour over the lake 
17.2.09, 8:02


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Charly Roggow, 18.02.2009 at 8:22h

Eine ganz wunderbare Aufnahme, gefällt mir sehr gut
LG Charly

Die Mohnblumen, 18.02.2009 at 8:35h

Eine sehr gute Präsentation der Eule, top!!

BRYAN CRUTE, 18.02.2009 at 8:48h

Utterly amazing shot !
Thank you for the information, it makes the picture all the more remarkable. My sincere compliments


Josef Kainz, 18.02.2009 at 9:23h

Das ist ganz was feines super Portrait
lg. josef

Ryszard Basta, 18.02.2009 at 9:39h


Cees Kuijs, 18.02.2009 at 9:41h

What an exceptional beautiful capture, Mark !! Lucky you, with such a patience fellow !!
Pinsharp details, very well lit. Great work for sure !!
Greetings, Cees

s. sabine krause, 18.02.2009 at 9:50h

great shot!! and what a great model!!! the look his face is just great and really made me laugh: he looks so strict but at the same time so very pleased with himself and his performance… a star is born! a born star… : )))) greetings and good luck for the voting, sabine.

Gruber Fred, 18.02.2009 at 10:40h

Fantastisch diese Aufnahme mein Pro hast du auf diesem Weg,zur Abstimmung iuns Voting komme ich leider nicht
LG Fred

Pe-Sto, 18.02.2009 at 11:10h

Fantastisch, Mark ... das Foto ist wirklich brilliant gemacht ... und dann auch noch unter diesen widrigen Umständen. Respekt!!!
Ich drücke dir die Daumen für`s Voting. Ich finde, das Bild sollte durchaus in die Galerie. Also: PRO .. :0)
glg Peggy

Leo_nid, 18.02.2009 at 11:36h


Anca Silvia B., 18.02.2009 at 11:49h


CsomorLászló, 18.02.2009 at 11:54h

What eyes!!

Ushie Farkas, 18.02.2009 at 12:49h

Nicht zu toppen,Mark,ganz fantastisch! Salut Ushie

Christine Ge., 18.02.2009 at 13:04h

Eine faszinierende Aufnahme, Mark! Die Mühe hat sich absolut gelohnt. Das Gefieder und vor allem natürlich die Augen der Eule wirken großartig und zauberhaft.
Viel Glück beim Voting!
Gruß Tina

JeannyL, 18.02.2009 at 16:02h

wunderschön Mark,
ein klasse Foto
LG Jeanny

Bergjäger, 18.02.2009 at 16:43h



LG Bergjäger

Gunther Hasler, 18.02.2009 at 18:53h

Wunderbar erwischt, Mark, ein ganz besonderes wildlife Foto in klasse Qualität, besonders unter den beschriebenen Umständen!
Leider kann ich anscheinend in com nicht voten, mein pro wäre dir sicher!
LG Gunther

Marlies W., 18.02.2009 at 23:16h

Super Foto, herrlich diese Schärfe und der Glanz in den Augen! Gefällt mir sehr gut! Hoffe dein Bild schafft es in der Abstimmung, hebe dir ganz fest die Daumen!
GLG Marlies :-))

Adele Oliver, 19.02.2009 at 0:45h

You did a fantastic job, especially under those conditions. She is magnificent!
greetings, Adele

Rikki und Winni, 19.02.2009 at 11:27h

Was für eine großartige Aufnahme von einem faszinierenden Vogel!! Ein wunderschönes Vogelportrait!
LG Rikki

Deryck, 19.02.2009 at 18:56h

Mark I think this is a wonderful story. It is a fantastic shot too. Your story is an insppiration to me. I still want to go and shoot night wild life shots. Good luck in the voting

Luc Grollie, 19.02.2009 at 19:07h

dedication rewarded !!!!!
a real beauty, of which I'm soooooo jealous.......
good luck in voting !!

Günter Nau, 19.02.2009 at 20:00h

Hi my friend,
this is a phantastic shot, which must go to the gallery. You have my pro.

Pozer Katalin, 19.02.2009 at 22:33h

:-) If the owl could laugh, he did at you. It was hard to manage the shot but it was worth to bother with it. Congrats, Mark.
Hugs, Kati

Gaby Darsow, 20.02.2009 at 11:12h

Auf jeden Fall pro,
leider kann ich nicht mitmachen;.(
Die Aufnahme ist vom Feinsten,Mark!

Mauro Stradotto, 20.02.2009 at 19:28h

Wow!!!!!!! E' uno scatto magico, uscito dalle migliori favole!!!
Auguri per la votazione, PRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Buon week-end,

Wolfgang Rothenbücher, 21.02.2009 at 12:11h

Hier würde ich sofort pro voten, aber ich kann nicht!
Wenn man die Umstände bedenkt, unter denen das Foto
entstanden ist, kann ich Dir nur mein Kompliment ausdrücken!

Astrid Buschmann, 22.02.2009 at 8:47h

Hallo Mark,
dies ist eine fantastische Aufnahme dieses Vogels mit absolutem Seltenheitswert - diese Tiere in freier Wildbahn fotografieren zu können, das gibt es fast nicht. Du bist ein Glückspilz mit viel Geduld, Ausdauer und Improvisationstalent - mein Pro hast Du sicher.
LG Astrid

Comy, 22.02.2009 at 18:17h


Fritz Berger, 22.02.2009 at 21:39h

Kann leider nicht abstimmen - wünsche Dir alles Gute!

Kadriye AYDIN, 25.02.2009 at 20:53h


Halvorsen, 1.03.2009 at 11:30h

Subers shot with stunning details! Never seen a owl like that so close before.... ;-)))

Bruchhummel, 1.03.2009 at 15:24h


Saska S., 3.03.2009 at 16:01h

Wow Mark, this is fantastic!!! Well taken.
Regards, Saska

susi schl., 9.03.2009 at 10:07h

Deine Eule ist wirklich klasse, besonders unter so schwierigen Bedingungen.

Schade, dass ich erst jetzt von der Abstimmung in der Galerie erfahre. (Ich glaube, es ist schon vorbei.)
Ich hätte auf jeden Fall für dich gestimmt.


Carolina K., 11.03.2009 at 15:16h

Excellent! Really amazing photo.

Voting Center, 18.03.2009 at 23:00h

This photo has been selected for the gallery with 96 pro- and 79 contra-votes. Congratulations, Mark Billiau. :-)

BRYAN CRUTE, 18.03.2009 at 23:00h

Please read the information Mark has added to how this great wildlife shot was taken.
Not a stuck on a pole zoo picture !
This is real pro photography grabbing the moment to get the picture.
PRO for me.

Josef Kainz, 18.03.2009 at 23:00h


Vitória Castelo Santos, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


JURAFR, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Leo_nid, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Pe-Sto, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Ken Piros, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Anca Silvia B., 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


CsomorLászló, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Hans-Reiner Bohn, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h

yes Sir, this is a °P°R°O° for me too!
Excellent work, Mark!

adriana lissandrini, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Johann Dittmann, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Andrea Sagawe, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Canan Oner, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h

PRO !!!!!

Uwe Einig, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Inez Correia Marques, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h




Claudio Micheli, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Andrej Nagode, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Galeria, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Denis Heirendt, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Lady Edel, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Bergfee, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Renato Orsini, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Stefano Todde, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Albert Wirtz, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


igna78-photography, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Claire Laira, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Luis Afonso Goncalves, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Elke, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Adele Oliver, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


adriano j faria, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Domenico Cosenza, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Takis.K, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Ralph Bache, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Alexandru Valentin Iedu, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h

Pro +++

TOMAS MAYRAL, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Reinhard..., 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Deryck, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Carlo Capobianchi, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Günter Nau, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Didi K., 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Véronique Soulier, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Saska S., 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Maria João Arcanjo, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Pozer Katalin, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Pascal Viyer, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h

pro !

Ingo Höppner, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Luisa I., 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Georg Götz, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Astrid Buschmann, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h

here ist my PRO!

Sebastian Nimptsch, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Chris S.., 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Thoralf, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Nicola Giaretta, 18.03.2009 at 23:01h


Donna Richens, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Gunda Horstmann, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Charly Roggow, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


lemmi65, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Arnd U. B., 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


archiek, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Fons van Swaal, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Jean-Bernard, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


D Wen, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Black Pearl Design, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


paintpictures, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Ilidio Fernandes, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Ben Weltenbummler, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h

+++ pro! +++

Georges M., 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Giorgos Fidanas, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Trixi Schneider, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Vesela Maleeva, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h


Ayse Nalan Yasin, 18.03.2009 at 23:02h



Inez Correia Marques, 18.03.2009 at 23:22h

Compliments Mark

Mark Billiau., 19.03.2009 at 8:08h

@ Everybody who voted pro : thank you very much.
And of course a special thanks to BRYAN CRUTE for the nomination of this picture.


Deryck, 19.03.2009 at 18:38h

Congrats my friend. You did well and deserved this star!

MAURICE CLEGG, 19.03.2009 at 20:00h

well deserved gallery, one of the best owl close-ups i have seen and you certainly put in the effort to capture this adorable image.
regards, maurice.

Cary Maures, 19.03.2009 at 20:26h

Hey Mark,
Great capture. I like the dark B/G.

Halvorsen, 19.03.2009 at 23:02h

Fantastic picture, Mark!
The details is stunning, and the light too.
Very well done, and congratulations! :-))
Best wishes, Vanessa.
Password of Life . . . by Halvorsen
Password of Life . . . 
25.2.09, 10:43

Natalja Dralova, 20.03.2009 at 8:06h

Amazing capture!

Norton, 20.03.2009 at 23:13h

Great capture...................


Christa Regina, 3.08.2009 at 21:32h

Das ist so cool. Am 18.2. hast Du dieses herrliche Foto eingesetzt. Der 18.2. ist mein Geburtstag und mein Mann hat mir immer am Geburtstag ein Geschenk überreicht mit den Worten: "Für Dich kleine Eule". Grins.
Sei lieb gegrüsst von Christa

cosmosgirl, 19.10.2009 at 23:10h

My new is BEAUTIFUL !!!!!

. just the model

TeresaM, 3.10.2010 at 22:22h

Impossible de ne pas admirer !!!
Bravo pour ce regard et ce portrait fantastique :-)

Miguel SR flowers, 14.02.2011 at 13:13h

You have amazing photos, I'll be coming over times and times around.
Thank for sharing :-)
Thanks for commenting my photo

Gandolfo Giacomarra, 15.02.2011 at 21:29h

A truly wonderful photos ..... wonderful colors ..

hrishikesh thakur, 25.03.2011 at 11:15h


nokk, 7.04.2011 at 9:40h

Fantastic capture, Mark! Excellent details and posture, you were so close...All my appreciation!

KORNELIUS100, 6.05.2011 at 8:58h

FANTASTIC SHOT !!+++++++++++++++++++

Miguel SR flowers, 9.05.2011 at 16:02h

Thanks so much for sharing
Superb photo

froekensnork, 18.05.2011 at 10:42h


qRudi, 25.10.2011 at 22:29h

Een miraculeuze foto.

Glenn Capers, 26.06.2012 at 21:38h

cheers the owl rocks..

Anita Jarzombek, 14.11.2014 at 22:57h

Den hast du großartig frontal festgehalten. Die Augen sind faszinierend.Fast hypnotisch. Die Bearbeitung ist exzellent!!! Völlig zurecht den Stern verdient! Herzlichen Glückwunsch!
Viele Grüße Anita
( Thou hast great detained frontal. The eyes are fascinating.Really hypnotic hypnotic. The editing is excellent !!! Quite rightly deserves the star ! Congratulations ! Regards Anita )

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