Waiting For Ruby
On Friday night I spent quite a bit of time waiting for Ruby the eastern screech owl at the Celery Bog to look my way. I ended up leaving to make dinner for the family. I was there with a great photographer who waited until the sun went down, and they made a very nice photo. I went back Saturday night knowing that I was not going to leave until Ruby opened her eyes. As these things go the owl never opened her eyes when the light was on the hole. In fact the sun had already set for quite some time when a dog stopped just before the parking lot and got her attention. She was focused on the dog trying to figure out what was going on. This was my moment. I tried a new composition to get rid of the grey sky in the background. I really liked this look, and I probably should have thought of it sooner. With the owl looking this way it works really well.
With no light I was making photos in a new place for me. I was at ISO 6400 with my Sony A7R4 which is about twice the level that I am comfortable being at. At ISO 3200 I am getting a little nervous. I was also making photos at 1/15th of a second which is far from recommended. I was photographing with a 600mm lens with a 2x extender on it. If you follow the rules then my shutter speed should have been at 1/1200th of a second at least. Of course I couldn’t do that so I braced myself as best as I could and hoped for the best. I was blessed with the photo above. I am glad that it all worked out. I finally made a photo of Ruby that I am happy with.
In Like A Lion
Early on a chickadee scared her into the hole for a while, but she popped back out just in time for some great light. When the owl turns away from me I always think that she looks like a lion. In the great light of the night I thought that this was even more true. What do you think?
Bringing Out The Big Lens
I have not been using my 600mm lens a lot lately. The focus drive motors are not what they were, and I feel that it costs me too many photos. When I am making a photo of a stationary object though I can manually focus. Using the old Canon lens lets me put the 2x teleconverter to use as well. This gets me even closer to the owl without invading its space. That is really important. Because I am so far behind on the blog I can tell you that I have used this same setup with the great horned owl with some good results. More on that tomorrow. For today Ruby gets her own post.