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Naturally photogenic

Naturally photogenic
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: 2004-12-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma 120-300 F2.8
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/400 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): 50 points or more - 50 puntos o más, African Owls, _Fotos adicionadas por 5 ou mais membros, Trentaure at its Best [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-29 8:12
Viewed: 16821
Favorites: 17 [view]
Points: 160
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a full length shot of this owlet, as promised HERE.

All owls belong to the sub-order Strigi . The Southern White-faced Scops-owl Ptilopsus granti - 25-28 cm belongs to the Otus Genus. Owls are creatures of the night and this, more than anything else, set them apart from other birds. Less than 3% of all birds are nocturnal, and owls make-up the majority of this group. There are 3 characteristics that contribute to their success as low-light hunters, viz. their acute sight and hearing and their ability to fly silently.

Some nice facts about owl eyes and their comparison to ours : In photographic terms, this being a photographic site, the pupil (aperture) of our eyes are 8 mm, translating into an F-stop of F2,1. Owls, on the other hand, has a pupil of 13,3 mm, giving an F-stop of F1.03 in relation to us. Thus, the eyes or owls are “faster” than our eyes and this allows them to distinguish objects better in low light conditions. The absolute visual threshold of owls’ eyes are 2,2 X that of the human eye - this relates to the ability of the eye to detect low light levels.

However, compared to the eyes of my favourite animals, the feline family, both of us, the owls and the humans, take a backseat. The visual threshold factor of cats are 5 times that of us humans and 2,2 X that of owls. The eyes of a diurnal bird such as a pigeon, are 100X less light sensitive than an owl's ability to detect light.

This guy caught my eye as we were driving down from Nossob to Twee Rivieren. He, and two others, were roosting in a tree about 10 m from the road, and at least 8 m above the ground. I had to lie nearly flat on my seat to get the barrel of Big Bertha aligned with the subject. I am very happy with the shots, as this was the first time that we actually succeeded on finding these guys outside of rest camps, and that it was possible to see more than just branches and the outline of the owl.

Venue – Nossob Road, KTFP
Date 96 December 2004
Time 09h21
Camera - Nikon D70
ISO 200 & -0,7 EV.
Sigma 120-300 F2.8 APO USM & 2X converter
Filter – None
Focal length - 600 mm.
Exposure mode - Aperture Priority – 1/1 400 @ F6.3
Flash – Balanced iTTL off camera SB800
Support – Wimberley Head on Camesteady Car window rest.
PP – 20% cropping on right;.; Selective colour; Levels; Hue/Saturation; no USM reduced to Site size. (The white on the wing becomes a bit hot with the reduction in size.)

thistle, milloup, ellis49, pompey, Leace, PDP, LCannon, scottevers7, rlortie, Signal-Womb, liquidsunshine, Motrem, Fisher, azulu, Robbrown, jhm, red45, willie, kazan, gerhardt, Luc, Andrieux, Lesley, ryyck, rosana, shal, rohitjpr, evanrizo, Demetrio, Adam73, Finland_in_Eton, Jarkinson, mlines, vihang8846, transalper, arunelis, vanderschelden, Dan, brech has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To riaanm: DankieCallie 4 02-16 02:10
To Hanssie: DankieCallie 2 02-07 09:17
To japie: Skaars, dis wat jy isCallie 1 01-30 14:24
To radz: ThanksCallie 1 01-30 14:09
To extramundi: WS - thanksCallie 2 01-30 11:24
To ornis: ThanksCallie 2 01-30 11:08
To jhm: DankieCallie 1 01-30 08:27
To Fisher: Lying flatCallie 1 01-30 08:09
To Motrem: HalloCallie 1 01-30 08:03
To pompey: ResearchCallie 1 01-29 12:29
To AndyB: ThanksCallie 1 01-29 09:24
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Critiques [Translate]

Congrats on a very striking capture, he's certainly photogenic with those eyes ;-))
Tack sharp capture, interesting to see how the pattern on his belly seems to imitate the pattern on the branch to his right, and I just love the blue colour of the sky in this one ;-))

what a beautiful photo i like the natural of the photo one of the best!!!!10/10 .marco.

The owl itself is beautiful, but I also like the colorful environment; it changes from the generally grey surrounding around these birds, posted in the last month or so. Very well framed between the two branches. Well done, Callie.

Great shot Callie.
Amazing colours in the eyes.
Big Berhta with company delivers great pictures.
Great details, POV, colours and composition.
Excellent work.

Magnifique photo, quelle couleur !!! et quelle netteté !!!

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-01-29 9:19]
  • [+]

A lovely capture,nice detail and stunning colours.
A great shot,well done.

Brilliant shot Callie, almost 3D, with great BG.
Lovely composition with good colours, texture, POV and wonderful eyes.
The research, (or do you keep this stuff in your head), into the note is also great.
A big Well Done on this one.

  • Great 
  • Leace Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 30 W: 0 N: 61] (292)
  • [2005-01-29 11:24]
  • [2]

An amazing shot, Callie! I wouldn't change a thing - everything is perfect. Your note was very interesting and well wrote (well except the "or"/"of" typo that threw me off ;-)). Keep up the great work!

Great shot!
Good composition and nice pose of this beautiful bird with a bit evil look ;-)
Well done!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-01-29 12:04]

Fantastic shot Callie, it appears to have a cool (alomst wintery) feel to it...The details on the owl are really good. The expression is great too, well done.

Great shot, stunning eyes. Great colours as well.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • Nico Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 199 W: 1 N: 335] (1321)
  • [2005-01-29 13:08]

I like the attention you got from him (her?). Good to see some of the environment too.

Oh hy is pragtig !!! hy lyk of hy deur jou kyk.. So very well done, this is a beauty. I like that the blue is not too blue, it can be distracting sometimes.. The first you see now are the eyes.

very well done !!

Just a superb capture of this owl. The color and detail are great. The composition and backround really ad alot to this capture. This is as good as it gets. Nice Work!

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-01-29 14:09]

Callie Vriend,
Hij is echt fantastisch.Die ogen schijnen als lichtjes, great colours, fantastic pof and great dof, this is how you must make such a shot, great job

  • Great 
  • VeTTe Gold Star Critiquer [C: 162 W: 0 N: 0] (684)
  • [2005-01-29 14:34]

sharpness; colours; background; bird and your photo are perfect..

This one is so lively that I had the impression that his eyes were blinking at me. Simply stunning. 10/10.
No need to smoke, sniff or drink to have hallucinations, your photos have the same effects (for free) ;-).

  • Great 
  • NINIX Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 47 N: 355] (3001)
  • [2005-01-29 17:19]

Hi Callie,

You did it again. Beautifull. I thought they had only in the night the eyes open.



This little owl is an absolute gem Callie. Fantastic capture I must say.

This is one spectacular shot Callie,
unbelievable detail, magnetic eyes.
This is one for the favorites.
Thanks for posting.

Magnificent grip, eyes are magnificent with sensational colours, they are striking in the image where colours and definition are so sweet. Great shot!

Superbe prise, les yeux sont magnifiques avec des couleurs éclatantes, ils sont marquants dans l'image où les couleurs et la définition sont si douces. Great shot!

He's certainly checking you out. Lying on the ground and aiming a 105mm barrel right in his face. Wouldn't your eyes bug out of your head if you were in his position. LOL
Excelent shot, Callie. A beautiful composition.


  • Great 
  • azulu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 111 W: 0 N: 75] (374)
  • [2005-01-29 21:12]

You did again Callie. Great shot. Very nice composition with nice colours and sharpness. Beautiful eyes.



When you manage to get past the hypnotic eyes, when veiwing the thumbnail all you see is the eyes, there is an excelent capture in which the only nit would be the OOF branch tip intruding on the top of his head, but this is a minnor one in such a sharp well seen image. TFS

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2005-01-30 3:03]
  • [+]

Goede morgen Callie, hier zegt men soms er zijn kleine en grote uilen en grote het meest!!! maar hier is het een mooie uil, schitterend genomen en die ogen zijn van zeer grote waarde voor de foto, de vergroting vind ik persoonlijk niet zo geslaagd, maar deze is prachtig.
Mooi werk

  • Great 
  • sev Silver Star Critiquer [C: 25 W: 0 N: 0] (56)
  • [2005-01-30 3:45]
  • [2]

great shot and colours are beautiful !
I really like eyes of this animal
very good work Callie !

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-01-30 4:14]

Terrific shot Callie. He makes me laugh with his orange eyes and the bark and leaves surrounding him. Like a Christmas decoration in a tree. Good capture, and well done.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-01-30 4:46]

Stunning shot Callie! What a eyes! And beautiful blue spots on BG. Great!

Although I am very shot of time, I could not avoid making a very fast workshop to this superb capture to imagine how it would if you spent your time to make a good WS...
I really like this shot, everything is perfect, except the little leafe on the head :D
Thanks Callie, beautiful post.

Very very nice Callie. Lovely specimen with amazing eyes.
Mooi so

  • Great 
  • kazan Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 35 W: 0 N: 36] (158)
  • [2005-01-30 11:46]

Callie hi, long long time no see...
I see the D70 has become Picasso's paint brush in your hands!!!
Great photos as usual!

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-01-30 12:36]
  • [+]

WOW Callie, To me this is your best owl shot yet!! The composition and setting is superb and the sharpness great!!

Incredible shot, Nou's ek 'n Ier!


Arrgghhh! :sê die boef en sterf roggelend!

Exceptional owl shot. One of the best I have seen. Your best owl? And stil the owls evades me. No nits, perfect.

As Japie 'n ier is, is ek die Leprecaun!

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2005-01-30 13:47]
  • [+]

Woow what a red eye.Nice shot.

What an emazing eyes, great work.

  • Great 
  • Okan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 104 W: 57 N: 68] (518)
  • [2005-01-31 4:08]

Callie this is one of the best owl phtotos that I've ever seen. Only the leafs front of the right ear, but doesn't matter. I love this photo. Weel done and TFS.

PErfect Callie, nothing to critique. The atmosphere and expose are stunning, perhaps your best shot so far.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-02-01 19:37]

Naturally well done, Callie.
Thanks a lot.

What can I say now, Callie ? ? ?
This total picture, the branches of the tree, the colours, also the very nice blue in the background and of course, this really wonderful owl with these sharp eyes looking in your camera and into our screens.
Very, very nice, this one !

excellent ! Very good DOF ! beautyful colours !

  • Great 
  • riaanm (53)
  • [2005-02-15 5:01]
  • [+]

Hallo Callie,

Baie skerp, goed belig, oor die algemeen 'n photo om op trots te wees.

Amazing Creature.
Amazing Picture.
Amazing Colour.
Amazing face and look.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2005-02-16 18:15]

À mon avis une des plus belle photo sur ce site. Une excellente composition avec un regard de l'oiseau étonnant. Les couleus et la netteté sont parfaite la lumière elle donne un coté exceptionnel à la photo. FÉLICITATIONS !

  • Great 
  • Kris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 174 W: 0 N: 129] (1818)
  • [2005-02-17 11:40]

Wow.. it's just perfect!!!
I like it very much.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • miqra Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 140 W: 3 N: 23] (151)
  • [2005-02-19 11:48]

I gladly add 2 points to give you 90 for this shot, Very good detail, excellent color, excellent shot, well done!

  • Great 
  • Lesley Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 297 W: 13 N: 913] (2988)
  • [2005-02-22 10:43]

Man...this being blonde is no fun! How could I have missed this gorgeous piece of work! Having a huge envy fit here in the States... this is masterful, Callie!

Beautifull photo:-))

Good work.

hooommmm ????? ahaaaaaa!!!!

  • Great 
  • ryyck Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 24 W: 0 N: 176] (994)
  • [2005-09-22 15:15]

Beautiful owl!

Extremely well done,
sharp, compo excellent,
contrasting eyes colors is perfect.

  • Great 
  • ridfa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 0 N: 376] (4111)
  • [2005-10-21 3:16]

Très belle photo.

This shot just proves how one important factor can outweigh all others.

Technically, the shot suffers from the fact that the owl is blocked by the branch, the head is blocked a little by leaves, the OOF branches on the left are distracting, and yet it is one of the most remarkable small owl photos I have ever seen.

Those orange eyes make the rest of the shot insignificant! Magnificent!

  • Great 
  • Athila Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
  • [2005-10-28 22:17]

Beautiful picture Callie

Exposure and focus are extra. The fill give plenty of details and as an extra bonus a beautiful catchlight in the eyes.
DOF is very interesting to.

Great work and TFS

  • Great 
  • shal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 256 W: 64 N: 481] (2140)
  • [2005-11-12 11:53]

Hey Callie,
must say a wonderful capture :)
excellent colours and detail, DOF is good and wow the owl looks nice :)
excellent work
thanks for sharing,

Great....sharness at it best...great lighting....a winner

Hi Callie,

I'm simply speechless.. the picture as well as the information..
Hats off....
keep it up..

I find this work perfect. Very good the notice.
Thank you very much for share.

What a fantastic sighting. Well done on getting this in.


  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-05-10 8:44]

Hi Callie,
Today I've seen this wonderful shot. A great one!
José M.

Fantástica composição, parabéns pelo registro!

Hej Callie!
Przesliczna kompozycja i super wykonanie. Sowa jak z bajki!
Gratulacje gratulacje gratulacje - Roma

  • Great 
  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2006-08-01 18:33]

Nice shot, great exposure and wonderful composition. DOF is great.

Great shot, amazing. It seems unnatural, but it's real. I like it very much!!!! Nice bird!!! Iteresting.

Impresionante... lo que daríamos algunos por una captura así !! Felicidades y Saludos desde España.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-05-14 8:21]

Hello Callie,
This is one of the best photos of my favourite animals I've ever seen. Amazing perfect.
TFS, Peter

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2007-05-24 19:54]

A simply stunning photo of this owl. Perfect sharpness, good colour and good background effect. Well done. Murray.

Beautiful portrait of Southern White-faced Scops Owl. The colors are wonderful and the markings on the feathers mimics the rough bark of the tree in which it is perched. Well done.

Hi congrulation for this awesome foto
great composition well focused good colours ad detail
I will add it to my favourites
very nice

Hello Callie,

When I saw the thumbnail, my first reaction was: "what a mazing colours in the eyes" What a sharp photo with fine details. For example the claw from his left feet. Extreme sharp. Very nice colors. Nice BG, POV and BG. Weldone. Regards and TFS Bob

excellent shot friend!!
i loved the eyes..
its great that u got to shoot an owl in daylight!!!

wonderfull composition, color and very nice photo

very original and mysterious

nice cold colours

Hi Callie very nice and net photograph with beautiful colours except at the level of the wing in our right but we cannot all make

Hello Callie,
Wonderful colors. Pure South African beauty...

This is an beautiful image! The eyes and the rest of the owl are so sharp. Nice job on the fill flash. It looks like the lighting might have been uneven and harsh, but you did a nice job evening it out with the flash.

Excelente captura!

lovely capture,nice detail and stunning colours.

  • Great 
  • Dan Gold Star Critiquer [C: 113 W: 0 N: 2] (18)
  • [2008-10-02 5:36]

Hi Callie, what a wonderful bird in a great photo. Excellent colours and bird attitude.


I love the way the patterns on the owl match the tree. The owl really pops with those red eyes as well. Nice capture. Trevor

this is a wonderful shot !!
really compliments, perfect look of the owl, great colors and scene

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