<< Previous Next >>

Here’s lookin’ at ya, Kid

Here’s lookin’ at ya, Kid
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: 2004-12-07
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma 80-400 OS
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/10 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): African Owls, Owls all over the world [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-01 10:45
Viewed: 8134
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Owls have and still do intrigue us as humans. For many centuries, people believed that owls brought bad omens. One only has to listen to the screech of the Barn Owl, to understand how suspicious minds and uninformed people could jump to such conclusions. It is a beautiful sound when you know it, and you see them sitting in a tree or drinking water at night. Then there is no mystery, only the beauty of these soft feathered friends of man. However, hear it the first time in the dark, uninformed, and the hair can raise on the back of your neck!

Owls have also been closely connected with wizardry and magic, as well as with wisdom and book learning. I repeat a little poem I have posted on TE, I think?

A wise old owl sat in an oak
The more he heard, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard
Oh, why can’t we be more like that wise old bird?

We have 12 type of owls in SA. Owls belong to the Tytonidae or Strigidae Families, and 204 species have been recorded worldwide, Africa having only 33. Owls are predominantly nocturnal, predatory birds. One only has to look at their eyes to recognise this fact, normally large and yellow to orange, with some species having nearly black eyes. Their plumage is soft and fluffy, allowing them to fly nearly noiselessly when swooping down on their pray. The fishing owls do not need to fly silently, since their prey cannot hear them, being mostly fish.

We have been very lucky on this trip, in that we saw four types of owls, and I was able to get some nice pictures of 3 of the four species. We must have seen more than 30 owl sightings, and I have taken nearly 50 pictures of the different birds.

This is a mug shot of the Southern White-faced Scops-owl Ptilopsus granti - 25-28 cm. Robert and Willie have posted all the detail on these guys already. Photographing any owl or raptor in the wild, is much more difficult than when they are used to people like in a bird aviary. This picture shows you the only part of the owl that was visible to us! The tight cropping was to get rid of the cluster of OOF branches around this little guy. Sometimes, one is lucky, and the owls will roost in the rest camps. However, I looked in vain during the day and dusk was already far advanced when we finally located this critter. He was just awake and getting ready for his night time foraging. Focusing was very hard, as the OS lens has no HSM, and it is slow to boot, a lovely lens to use in daylight, but once the light is “gone”, it is a bit of a donkey – slow and hard to get into action.
I will later post a “full length” shot of another one of these guys, taken later on the trip.

Lesley, Fisher, JeanMichel, pompey, carper, rlortie, willie, Luc, Robbrown, jhm, red45, mumek, Janice, mlines has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To jhm: Oog kleurCallie 1 01-02 13:53
To japie: SkoonmaCallie 2 01-01 16:43
SHOOTING DETAILS - note too longCallie 1 01-01 10:46
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Lesley Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 297 W: 13 N: 913] (2988)
  • [2005-01-01 10:51]

FABULOUS !!!!!!! Can't wait to see more of this gorgeous creature.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-01-01 11:05]

Callie, excelent post of the Owl winking at us.
Bring em' on.


les yeux sont superbe, la photo manque un peu de netete mais reste jolie.

I love your poem, Callie! It's totally in the spirit of your post. It's really a fantastic image, strong by the eyes, soft by the feathers. Owl looks like like huddled in his environment. The essence of the nocturnal predator is very well conveyed. A rare shot.

  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2005-01-01 12:50]

Great shot Callie, the eyes are fantastic as is the note.

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-01-01 13:08]

Wauw Callie,
This is a great nightshot, My experience with night shots is zero. I have try it before but had no succes. Well I am good to made good shot from owls in zoo. But in wild it is a dream. When I am fishing I enjoy the sound of an owl. Fantastic that sound. About the photo, great eyes, fantastic dof, and a great sharpnes, there is a fine balance in the photo. Erg goede foto Callie.

Great shot Callie! I dream to get one like this someday. Never could in the wild so far. The look is stunning. I think the impact is softened due to the oversize of this photo. We can see the pixels on his beak.

  • Great 
  • willie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 61 N: 648] (2083)
  • [2005-01-01 13:55]

Aha, one with two eyes. Good mugshot Callie.
Well done under the circumstances, as you say, your high tech stuff are slow to boot up, the shot is a wee bit soft but the eyes are great

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-01-01 15:08]
  • [+]

I need to give my Mother in Law the little poem! The type of life one leads can be seen in ones eyes. I like the eye contact here very much and the composition is excellent.

Very well done and thanks for posting

nice one Callie typical view of an owl peeping out from behind some thing.
Must admit saw the eyes and thought I know what this is, such a great little bird, so small and cute fit right in your hand they are so small.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-01-01 16:39]

I believe that the fear is the source of many superstitions, Callie, is owls frighten many people still. Yours does not frighten me with its funny wink. As your small poem shows it so well, we have to learn again a lot from animals.
If there is a bird to which one you could you identify, it is indeed this one, roguish! ;-)
An excellent post: picture, note and shooting details.
Thanks a lot!

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2005-01-02 3:18]
  • [+]

Goede morgen Callie, ik moet altijd uw nota goed lezen en dit kleine versje vind ik persoonlijk zeer mooi, vooral mijn beste wensen voor 2005 Callie, en mag U veel mooie foto's maken dit jaar. Deze van de uil is weer prachtig, zijn die ogen zo rood in werkelijkheid Callie?
Hoe dan ook zeer mooi gedaan!

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-01-02 5:22]

Great owl Callie. I like colour of its eyes and pose.

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

Nice shot, even if focus a bit soft. Great capture.

  • Great 
  • mumek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 104 W: 0 N: 180] (853)
  • [2005-01-02 9:38]

Excellent shot.I love his eyes.Very interesting note.Thanks for posting

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-01-03 3:41]

Your patience paid off Callie. Thank you for showing this terrific shot of a bird that many would never get to see otherwise.

Callie, who wrote the stanza featured on your note? I did enjoy it. Congratulations on your note.

Pretty red eyes. To me, even seem a little scary - which is also great.

I dared a little workshop. I hope you like it.


Hi Callie. A superb clear and well composed close up of this owl. Excellent colours and note. TFS. Murray.

Calibration Check