Sunday, 27 January 2013

Barn Owl Project

I have lived in Dorset my entire life and I only saw my first Barn Owl last spring. I think I must have never been looking properly as now I have got my eye in. Im seeing them all the time!

The site that most of my images are taken is about 15 minuets away from my house so that means I can wake up and get there quickly depending on the conditions. I was told by the farmer that they used to have 9 pairs on the farm. I often see 4 individuals in one evening but its getting the images that is proving to be so hard!

They are usually more active in the dawn light than that of the evening. So I try to get there 20 mins before sunrise. This allows me to track down a couple of owls and decide where I am going to set up.

Usually then the owls take to the wing and hunt for a few mins, just as or just after the sun has risen. This is the time I get my shots usually.

My set up, is a canon 7D on a Sigma 120-300mm with a 1.4x converter. This makes it a 420mm f4 which is a good lens for the owls. A 400mm 2.8 would be better however!!!!

For my tripod head, I am using a 'Wimberly Sidekick' and I really cant rave about this enough. It is an awesome piece of kit which I strongly recommend. It allows easy free movement of a heavy lens, inorder to track the owls in flight, and makes the job of keeping the lens steady a joy.

I am pleased with my images in general but I want better. Its going to take time however as many days (like today) I come home empty handed. But I dont mind. Every time I go there I learn something about the Owls and there routine and I like to think that it will eventually work in my favour.

Thanks for viewing and let me know what you think