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Eyes wide open

Eyes wide open
Photo Information
Copyright: Callie de Wet (Callie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-12-08
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma 80-400 OS
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): E.Y.E.S, 50 points or more - 50 puntos o más, African Owls [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-07 10:53
Viewed: 7234
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Now, with sharp individuals like Luc, Bente, Japie, Howard et al, to name but a few, one has to watch what you post, not because they seem to appreciate the pictures so much, but for sharpness, wit and stirring while commenting. I think we should introduce a Wooden Spoon Award of the Month for the best comment in this genre, Bente currently leading, I think, with the frying pan she offered to Gert for his post of the landing DD – Dinner Duck!
I think my eyes popped as wide open as this owl’s when I read that comment this week. Lesley also mentioned previously that she enjoys reading notes with something personal in it, not just pain facts. By this, I do not slate facts and the posting of scientific facts, just that it is nice to learn, and experience maybe, just a hint of what the other guy was doing or feeling while shooting the subject. As a quite large E-community, some of us “know” one another already more than two years, and have been bantering a long time, some joined later and some recently, but this is how we will get to know our fellow TNners better. I appreciate the fact that many of us miss Paul and wish him well and a speedy return, as well as being happy that Jaap is back with us again.
Back to this, the second owl in my mini series, that I hope will show you some of our owls and what they do. My wife loves owls, and she is the one who normally spots them for us while I do the driving. This one was sitting next to the road, on the sun-side, with quite some backlighting. We were on our way to see if I could photograph some Bateleurs, and passed this guy. I shot a couple of pics, then moved on. On our return trip, he was still in the same tree, but with a different pose. Owls have a way of “rotating” their facial disk in the same way a mimic artist would “feel” an imaginary wall in front of him. The eyes are often nailed on you, and then this bobbing rotate is performed, maybe to scare one off, but it only makes us stay longer and shoot more.
This is a Spotted Eagle Owl - - Bubo africanus 43-50 cm. This is a smaller one, maybe not a 100% adult bird. We saw quite a few of them, they were approachable enough to get some decent pictures. They are nocturnal birds, infrequently encountered in the wild. It is the most commonly encountered “eagle” owl in our region, and has two colour phases – grey and rufus. Grey, like on the picture, is the most common. It has yellow, not orange eyes, as the Cape Eagle Owl, that can reach 65cm.
Venue – KTFP, Nossob Road
Date 86 December 2004
Time 18h25
Camera - Nikon D70
ISO 200 & -0,7 EV.
Sigma 80-400 F4.5- 5.6 APO OS
Filter – Cokin UV
Focal length - 320 mm.
Exposure mode - Aperture Priority – 1/125 @ F13
Flash – Balanced iTTL
Support – Handheld
PP – bit of cropping; levels; hue/ saturation; S/C; Some USM; reduced to Site size.

NitzanCK, pompey, extramundi, Fisher, willie, radz, Lesley, milloup, JeanMichel, Signal-Womb, LCannon, Luc, rlortie, red45, jhm, Lourens, mumek, ellis49, sandpiper2, gerhardt has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To sandpiper2: Chris - timeCallie 2 01-10 18:41
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Critiques [Translate]

Hey Callie, an excellent photo!
The picture is very sharp and clear, and the colours are so soft-Beautiful!

This bird have an huge eyes, and your photo show it the best way.
Impressive shot, Well done.

  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2005-01-07 11:31]

Great shot Callie, a hard shot to get , i think.
The eyes are really amazing, as is the overall picture quality.
Great note as always and I agree with Lesley that it's nice to include some personal touches to the story.

Callie, I think you should not care so much about the quality, of course we all like to improve and give the best of our shots, but this site is also to learn about nature, and sometimes a bad shot showing a very interesting thing is as good as a perfect shot showing a boring subject, that is my opinion. In this case you have both things and a very well controlled shot according to the dificult light you had.

  • Great 
  • Esox Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 20 N: 344] (972)
  • [2005-01-07 12:55]

Hi there.
As usual an exceptionnal shot.
It would be a waste of time if I talk about sharpness, colours or DOF.
About technical stuff, I think you managed very well with the flash.
Very nice job for these EYES, Thanks.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-01-07 13:17]

In photography, shots are not always perfect as know. It takes several shots to get what you want. Sometimes it happens that you get the one. Although it may not be perfect, it's how one positions the image within the frame and how well it is exposed etc. Yes, so what if is soft but the image detract from that and one is focused on the eyes.
They are huge and bright. This is excelent. Well done Callie.

IMO I agree with you on the note.

  • Great 
  • willie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 61 N: 648] (2083)
  • [2005-01-07 13:24]

Beautiful owl with amazing eyes. Well seen
(your wife that is) and brilliantly captured by yourself. Good work

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2005-01-07 13:39]

Excellent shot.Very sharp&great eye contact.

  • Great 
  • Lesley Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 297 W: 13 N: 913] (2988)
  • [2005-01-07 16:52]

what a hoot....very fine capture in difficult light, Callie. The eyes are captivating! I love note.

Well, now I hardly dare comment for fear of being awarded a wooden spoon.. Anyway, January is young yet, someone else will make you forget that little quib about our flying friend the DD before the month's out ;-)))
Beautiful capture, striking eyes and either luck or skill saved you from a burnt out bg ;-))

I like your warm note, Callie. Thru photography, we participe in a bit of our respective life, but with notes of that kind, images posted show also the human aspect. I really appreciate that. Now about this shot... owl is beautiful, tilted head turned at 90° is typical. Good you told us about the shooting conditions, so I wont say colors and contrast remind me some technicolor films on the fifties. Thanks again for your great contribution on TN.

Very nice shot Callie. The close crop works well here because of those eyes. Owls are truly wonderful for that. Good post.

I like your owl photo very much. I enjoyed your note almost as much as I had a chuckle about the "frying Pan" comment as well. I had to tackle a workshop on this little guy though, seems I always want to brighten everything up, must be the gloomy winter sky getting to me a bit early this year?
Thanks for posting this, I don't see many owls normally.

Fantastic photo Callie,
Those eyes I love good eyes, very nice colours, fantastic shot. Echt Callie ik hou van owl fotos en deze is erg goed, mijn complimenten

  • Great 
  • Nico Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 199 W: 1 N: 335] (1321)
  • [2005-01-08 4:22]

As a newcomer to TN and first timer critic, may I dare to add my penny's worth:
Excellent uncompromising quality. I also just like in-your-face wildlife photography.
Obviously a master of his equipment with expert knowledge of his favourite subjects. A winning combination.

Callie you certainly deserve a 10 for the note. As I am new to TN, you make me realize what is so important about this site: interaction between people. Related to your post, the relation is obvious for me: you facilitate people's eye opening. Looking straight in the eyes, like this magnificent owl. From now on, this note will be the reference for me; I will try to give more personal insights. Thank you Callie!

Composition: ***
Sharpness: ****
Color: ***
DOF: ***
POV: ***

Nice shot, good colors.
Wel done.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-01-08 11:47]

With those eyes this owl could work for FBI as an investigator :-) Great quality, I like BG and note also.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-01-08 12:31]

I am really sorry, Callie, but I cannot write suitably when somebody looks at me with such an intensity. The inspiration misses me. If I wrote with a feather, I would be tried to draw from the ink of his eyes.
Now, the note. It is one of the best notes which I read until now on TN. Not because my name is mentioned, but because with perspicacity you make an effective synthesis which delights my spirit and my heart.
The photo is excellent and the note is a masterpiece which fits perfecly with the picture.
Thank you.
Now I am going to read the critics of the other members.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2005-01-08 12:45]

Wat heeft u hier neer gezet Callie, deze schitterende Uil, zijn ogen spreken boekdelen zoals uw volledige nota trouwens, dieren en Callie dit is absoluut verenigbaar, ik hou van uw foto's Callie, deze zijn ook goed voor de scholen, hier zou men iets uit leren.
Bedankt voor dit alles!!!

  • Great 
  • mumek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 104 W: 0 N: 180] (853)
  • [2005-01-08 14:55]

Everything is super.The colors, composition, details.But, the eyes are amazing.The note as usual excellent.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-01-09 2:34]

The eyes have been set to F/2.8, what were you up to, Kaalahari?

The sharpness here is stunning and the composition and setting a winner.

Excellent work and thanks for posting

Great Callie.
The eyes are very nice.
Very good sharpness, composition, colours and a great note.
Excellent work.
I don't think Bente has frying pan big enough to catch a DD;-)
And they don't taste well either.

How do you get time to take all these impressive shots?
Another great shot with a great note. I supose I woould have prefered to see the whole animal, but that's not always possible is it.

The eyes... Captivating! Nice usuage of backlight to accentuate the left side and adding depth. Those tuffs of hair on the left (his right.. :) looks so cool... It's nice to kno wthat you do not always need good light for a great shot. Well done Callie. Ace note too...

Did I mention the EYES!!! ? :)

  • Great 
  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-02-05 21:03]

Impressive photo Callie, Beautifull owl with amazing eyes,

You did a great shot !


The 'eyes' have it! Nice shot Callie.

A terrific shot, Callie
Love the framing. Pose, detail, color and sharpness are first rate ...

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