Barn Owl In Flight Among The Phragmites

At times Barn Owls in flight can almost get lost in a background of similarly colored phragmites but in this image I thought the bird was far enough away from most of the background to make it stand out sufficiently.


barn owl 0692b ron dudley

1/2500, f/8, ISO 400, 500 f/4, 1.4 tc, natural light, not baited, set up or called in

The sharper phrag spikes directly beneath the owl may not be ideal since several of them intersect with the bird but that kind of thing does tend to happen in nature and I can live with it.

It’s funny sometimes, what inspires my next blog post.  In this case it was an unexpected and very kind and thoughtful email from one of my readers who is a huge fan of Barn Owls in natural settings.  Thank you for the inspiration, Donna!


9 comments to Barn Owl In Flight Among The Phragmites

  • Janice Webb

    What a lovely sight. I am so grateful to you Ron. Without your amazing pictures and comments, I never would have fallen in love with these dear owls and lots of other feathered and furry creatures that inhabit your area of our Country. Thank you over and over and over again from me and the kids at Kutz where you are now a regular at story time in the library.

  • Just beautiful Ron. And the Phragamites (which we don’t have) I found very useful in establishing the territory and the size. As an owl addict I thank you. Again.

  • Ron ,you’ve created so many beautiful photos of Barn Owls! I have nothing to add but appreciation and thanks for sharing them with us.

  • The spikes definitely don’t distract. By chance with this frame, they DO provide a needed instance of scale and depth to make the owl stand out more effectively.

  • The natural background is crucial, IMOHO. The Phragmites add all that’s needed. I resented a bit I had to recently shoot a set of Monarch butterflies with an urban background, but there was nothing I could do about it. Maybe it was a lesson I had to learn.

  • I agree wholeheartedly!!!!! In my case, I’m a photoshop junkie, so I’m prone to removing distractions as much for the challenge and fun of it as to make an image more aesthetically pleasing (in my own eyes). But honestly and truly Ron, these spikes are NOT a distraction … if anything they add wonderful dimension and depth!!! I’m just in awe of the exquisite tonal value and gentle light. How I’d love to capture an owl on the wing!!!!! BRAVO!!!!! (By the way, I love that you include your camera specs … thank you!!!)

    • Thank you, Lois and I also appreciate your comment on the camera specs. Soon after I started blogging, several folks asked me to include them and I can see how they may often be helpful to other photographers. They’re kind of a pain to look up and post (I haven’t yet found a plugin that I like yet to do it automatically)so I’m happy to hear that they’re appreciated.

  • chris

    I’m so very glad that you “can live with” what happens in nature 😉 it makes for great photos! If you hadn’t mentioned the spiky plants, I wouldn’t even have noticed them. One photographer’s “less than ideal” is another lay person’s “wow I like that one!”.

    • Chris, If it “happens in nature”, almost without exception I like it. But sometimes it just doesn’t make for very good photos. In this case I don’t think the spikes intersecting the bird are much of a distraction but things like that are always in the eye of the beholder.