Colin Bradshaw  

Tawny Owl with Mouse by Colin Bradshaw

January 2021 - Tawny Owl with Mouse

January 2021 - Colin Bradshaw


About the Image(s)

I shot this from a hide in the UK. There were triggered flashes setup, which the Owl did not seem to mind at all, used to them I guess, but being lit by flash made the image quite contrasty, so I decided to convert to B&W. The Camera was a Nikon D500 with a 200-500 zoom 1/200, ISO 800 f8 @ 200mm. I edited the original picture in photoshop also using Topaz denoise. I then converted to B&W using NIK silver effects.

6 comments posted

Albert Zabin   Albert Zabin
Really nicely done. I don't think conversion to black and white improves the image. The color image seems more three dimensional, possibly because the owl's face stands out because of the color. The tail, back andwing feathers seem darker and thus receed. I suggest thaat the chest, face and particularly the eye's catch light be enhanced and the wing feathers and tail be fgently darkened.   Posted: 01/09/2021 12:16:49
Colin Bradshaw   Colin Bradshaw
Thanks for the comments much appreciated   Posted: 01/09/2021 14:03:15

Jack Florence Jr   Jack Florence Jr
I agree with Albert's comments, Colin. It's very well done, but I prefer the higher contrast version of the original. There is some nice directed lighting in the original which is absent in the black and white. Others in the group are more experienced with nature and wildlife closeups, and I look forward to their opinions.   Posted: 01/10/2021 12:49:14

Jen Carrick   Jen Carrick
Hello Colin, Welcome to group 47!
Well done on capturing the moment of the hunt.
The stump is very sharp and textured. I feel the wings could use a little more contrast. Thanks for an interesting image.   Posted: 01/10/2021 14:37:55

Adrian Binney   Adrian Binney
Hi Colin - welcome.
I find it's often unhelpful to have the mono alongside the colour - comparison adds to the questions around the image. That's not your fault!

Here you are starting with (as you say) a very contrasty situation due to flash guns used. I don't like this form of photography. I've been to evening (not fully dark) shoots involving owls and I prefer to use natural light and deal with the ISO consequences.

The colour version sends the eye to the face - perfect. This isn't the same with the mono, with the contrast flattened. Mono gives the opportunity to change the weighting of where the viewers eyes is being led - perhaps more work on bringing out more detail/shadow around its feet and the bright edges of the wings may help. Also, the eye seems to go to the log too easily because of it being so sharp and contrasty.   Posted: 01/12/2021 12:17:31

Ed Ford   Ed Ford
To my eye this is a great shot Colin. I love the spread of the wings and the detail in the owl. I do agree with Adrian - I like the color version better. However I do like this version as well. I will say that, at least to me, the color version appears to have more depth.

I am particularly fascinated with the detail in the feathers and the clarity of the detail in the wings and face of the owl - the mouse not so much but for the tail.

Both images tell me a story of predator and prey giving me the opportunity to build something around them that will leave me to think more deeply about what I am seeing.

Thank you for sharing them with us Colin. Again welcome to the group :-)   Posted: 01/22/2021 18:44:10


Please log in to post a comment