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Mark Billiau.


Pro Member, region Antwerp, Belgium

The Living Forest (33) : Little Owl by night

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.

Comments 128

  • Anita Jarzombek 11/14/2014 22:57

    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 )
  • Glenn Capers 06/26/2012 21:38

    cheers the owl rocks..
  • qRudi 10/25/2011 22:29

    Een miraculeuze foto.
  • froekensnork 05/18/2011 10:42

    Wonderful!
  • Miguel SR flowers 05/09/2011 16:02

    Thanks so much for sharing
    Lovely
    Superb photo
  • KORNELIUS100 05/06/2011 8:58

    FANTASTIC SHOT !!+++++++++++++++++++
  • nokk 04/07/2011 9:40

    Fantastic capture, Mark! Excellent details and posture, you were so close...All my appreciation!
    Hugs,
    doina
  • hrishikesh thakur 03/25/2011 11:15

    A+++
  • Gandolfo Giacomarra 02/15/2011 21:29

    A truly wonderful photos ..... wonderful colors ..
  • Miguel SR flowers 02/14/2011 13:13

    You have amazing photos, I'll be coming over times and times around.
    Thank for sharing :-)
    Thanks for commenting my photo
  • TeresaM 10/03/2010 22:22

    Impossible de ne pas admirer !!!
    Bravo pour ce regard et ce portrait fantastique :-)
    Amitiés,
  • cosmosgirl 10/19/2009 23:10

    My new FAV...it is BEAUTIFUL !!!!!

    Claudia
    . just the model
  • Christa Regina 08/03/2009 21:32

    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
  • Norton 03/20/2009 23:13

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

    Tony.
  • Natalja Dralova 03/20/2009 8:06

    Amazing capture!
  • Halvorsen 03/19/2009 23:02

    Fantastic picture, Mark!
    The details is stunning, and the light too.
    Very well done, and congratulations! :-))
    Best wishes, Vanessa.
  • Cary Maures 03/19/2009 20:26

    Hey Mark,
    Great capture. I like the dark B/G.
  • MAURICE CLEGG 03/19/2009 20:00

    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.
  • Deryck 03/19/2009 18:38

    Congrats my friend. You did well and deserved this star!
    Deryck
  • Mark Billiau. 03/19/2009 8:08

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

    Mark
  • Inez Correia Marques 03/18/2009 23:22

    Compliments Mark
  • Ayse Nalan Yasin 03/18/2009 23:02

    pro++++++
  • Vesela Maleeva 03/18/2009 23:02

    +
  • Trixi Schneider 03/18/2009 23:02

    +
  • Giorgos Fidanas 03/18/2009 23:02

    pro

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Information

Category Nature
Folders Animals
Clicks 11,266
Published
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Awards

Gallery 03/18/2009
96 Pro / 79 Contra

Public favourites 3