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Size Does Not Matter

Size Does Not Matter
Photo Information
Copyright: Scott Evers (scottevers7) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2432 W: 3 N: 3894] (12309)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-03-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS + EF 1.4X II, B+W UV MRC
Exposure: f/8, 1/80 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-05-19 8:03
Viewed: 4122
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 88
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This photo was taken at The World Bird Sanctuary where many of my previous raptor posts were shot.
This shoot was a good lesson for me on DOF releative to distance from your subject. This was shot outside on a very grey and cloudy day. I was as close as I could get, and had to rock back and forth to keep from getting to close where my lens would not focus.
f11 to f16 would have been better, but I did not have a tripod, and I did not want to go to a higher ISO. Only the image stabilazation system of my lens would allow a handheld shot at this slow of a shutter speed and that long of a focal length. This guy was only 8 inches tall. This is close to a full frame shot with only minimual cropping. "Gizmo" is a cute little guy.

Northern Pygmy Owl - Glaucidium californicum

Description: The Northern Pygmy Owl is a tiny, woodland, diurnal Owl that is most active between dawn and dusk. They have greyish or brownish or reddish (3 morphs) upperparts and light belly that is boldly streaked with brown. The head and nape are liberally sprinkled with whitish dots (more cinnamon or buff on red morph). On the nape are 2 distinctive, vertical black patches that resemble an extra pair of eyes. The relatively long tail is distinctly barred with 6 to 7 light stripes. Eyes are yellow, bill is yellowish-horn, and the toes are greyish-yellow.
Juveniles are similar to adults but with unspotted and greyer heads, and fluffy plumage.

Size: Average Length Female: 18.5 cm (7.3"), male: 16.5 cm (6.5")
Average Wingspan 38 cm (15")
Average Weight Female 73 g (2.6 oz), Male 62 g (2.2 oz).

Despite their small size, Northern Pygmy Owls are quite fierce, and will attack prey or drive off intruders several times their own size. When one of these owls is threatened, it will puff up its feathers and spread its tail to make itself look larger. When hiding, it tries to look thin, faces the danger, and closes its eyes into slits.

LordPotty, giacomosg, peter_stoeckl, Snoops, wallhalla15, goutham_ramesh, clack, marhowie, jmp, loot, coasties, Luc, CTP, ddg, dew77, Janice, aido, saguzar, firelord, elefantino, metcher, ScottHale, livios, RII, thistle, pablominto, marjan, Adam73, annagrace, slrnovice2, izler has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To marhowie: ISO and Tripodsscottevers7 2 05-19 15:01
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Critiques [Translate]

excellecent shot.
very interesting note.

An excellent profile Scott.
Beautifully sharp and nicely composed.
Very thorough note too.
Great work.

Hi Scott,
excellent result -
nothing to be seen from difficult conditions you describe.
Perfect details. Wonderful pose.
Great shot. Thank you!
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-05-19 8:10]

Hi Scott,
excellent potrait, such lovely sharp details. Colors and POV are wonderful.

Wonderful Scott,
nice and sharp and excellent DOF
And thanks for the great note :)

Excellent portrait shot Scott, great sharpness, details and framing, well captured too. Great colours/lighting an very nice bg. This is an excellent compositon. Thank you for posting. Have a great weekend my friend.

Hi Scott,
Beautiful capture! Very sharp and clear details, amazing clours, and perfectly framed.
Very well done!

Hi Scott,
Superb and very high quality potrait of this beautiful bird!!
Good Composition too

Hi Scott, What a fantastic Photo, Perfct colors, BG, POV, Details, Great Job, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • clack (98)
  • [2006-05-19 9:36]

Good shot! Because of the sharpness you can count the feathers one by one. I like it that most of the picture is brown, except the big yellow eye and the beak of the owl!!


  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-05-19 10:26]

very nice shot Scott.
the details are very nice, and yes you need some luck with to capture both eyes, but farter a great pov and fine details good job.
gr. jaap

Hello Scott,
It's a nice shot, Gizmo is cute :)
I think you did very well under the conditions you describe..You say you did not want to go to a higher ISO. What ISO did you use?? I think you needed more support here, even with IS on, @ 1/80th.
When I first started using the 400mm L with IS, I stayed away from tripod, IS on. I have found in practice they work quite well together. The recent wren posts were with tripod, slow s-speeds, in shade, IS on. Handheld, IS works great at faster s-speeds, but you still must support the camera very well for a sharp shot..
Well done and have a Great Weekend!

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-05-19 10:50]

Hi Scott,
Very good close-up portrait. Color and sharpness are excelent even with the problamic conditions you describe. Good capture!
José M.

Very nice close up capture Scott. It seems you did your math on this one. The colors are really great and the detail are nice. I would of tried for a higher aperature like you mentioned. While your there shooting, you might as well try different settings and compare the results. :)

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-05-19 13:54]
  • [2]

Hi Scott
I am very impressed with the results you obtained of Gizmo. It is a lovely little bird and you presented it just fine. Thanks for the detailed process description. It gives clear insight at what difficulties you had to overcome with this shoot.
I like your composition and crop and the details are ever so sharp. You cleaned the photo very well of any noise as there is no evidence to reveal that the ISO was set at 400.
Very well done and TFS.

Hi Scott

Your note makes interesting reading, thnaks. Now, little Gizmo is a cutie. Nice close clear details. You did a great job here. :-)

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-05-20 1:42]

Hi Scott,
Excellent owl portrait my friend.
Excellent pov,colors,sharpness,focus,framing,note,eye details,lighting and bg.TFS

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-05-20 3:12]

Hello Scott,
Amazing portrait.Exposure is spot on.Clear details,sharpness,POV,colors,eyes framing and composition are excellent.TFS...:-)

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-05-20 5:07]

Scott your Gizmo Owl is a real sweetie. What an excellent portrait of him. His plumage is nice and sharp, and the colours and eyes are quite amazing. Well done,

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-05-20 7:03]

Hi Scott,
Greetings from Transylvania! Woow, what a beauty. Excellent tight crop, I really like compositions like this, it makes a great change from the standard portrait formats. Beautiful detail and colours, excellent!

Hi Scott,

Excellent shot.
Sharp, details, colors and DOF are perfect.
Well done!

TFS :-)

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2006-05-20 11:22]

Very good picture of this Owl, Scott. Lots of details in this very sharp shot, very good exposure and I love the tight crop. Thanks !


  • Great 
  • pac Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 67 W: 13 N: 157] (1783)
  • [2006-05-20 15:25]

An amazing portrait - I'm quite envious of the sharpness and colours.

I was about to comment on your choise of f-number and resulting dof, but the I read your notes..

Did I mention: GREAT shot!


Hello Scott,
This is an marvelous close-up, with great details, a nice bird with beautiful patterns in feathers. It could be useful to illustrate a nature or bird book.
Thanks for sharing friend!

Hi Scott,
this is a very good shot even under the conditions you describe, maybe you could removed the the TC-convert for a better DOF.
The POV, composition and details are very good.
Very well done, my friend.

Great portrait Scott,
eye is amazing.
Colors and details are superb.

Hi, Scott.
Nice and cute portrait. Hard to believe it's killer. Excellent sharpness and details.

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-05-21 14:31]

Hello Scott, great portrait of profile. Amazing sharpness and splendid colors. I like the attitude of this bird. Very good job. Best regards, Didier.

Great, crisp, clear colorful owl. This guy was one of my favorites at the WBS. Hard to believe he can be so much of a fierce predator. I like how you captured the intensity in it's eyes and the detail in the feathers. I can vouch for the grey cloudy day, this seemed to not matter too much in your shots that I have seen. Excellent work, a pleasure to see and well written.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2006-05-21 19:47]

Scott, great pose and colors.

I enjoy composition and sharpness too.

Their eyes are always amazing.

  • Great 
  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2006-05-23 5:01]

Hi Scott.

Very nice portrait owl,good details color and composition, is a excellent close up.


Hello Scott,
Lovely shot of this owl. I like the POV a lot, picture has pretty good details too considering the diffculties.
WELL DONE on this one!

  • Great 
  • TPAKT Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 97 W: 21 N: 20] (89)
  • [2006-05-28 5:17]

Privet Scott.
Magnificent portrait on all parameters

Hi Scott,
Super portrait of this handsome guy!
Excellent profile and I'm most impressed by the photo tech quality...
Beautiful feather coat, spot on focus on the eye... Well done indeed!
Pablo -

Wonderful closeup under trying conditions from the sound of it. The colours and detail are very nice.

Very amazing shot Scott, what a beauty packaged in such a small size. I'm quite impressed with your skill in capturing such a wonderful photo. Excellent work.

Hi Scott,

You have an impressive portfolio. This is a fantastic portrait shot of this owl. There are no nits with this picture. Very well done.


  • Great 
  • marjan Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 459 W: 14 N: 366] (2685)
  • [2006-06-28 11:42]

Hi Scott, excelent bright shot. vivid coloures and wonderful details.Very useful information,TFS

  • Great 
  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2006-07-03 10:48]

Sharpness and detail here are off the charts. very beautiful portrait. The eye is in such perfect detail. Eposure is spot on. This image is perfect. very beautiful.

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2006-07-07 15:14]

Hi Scott ! Wonderful portrait of this owl ! Excellent details and colors onthe feathers, and a fantastic pose of the bird, very nice profile. POv and BG are also very good. Well done !

Size does not matter, says who??!!! LOL!!

Amazing portrait of a cute little owl. I understand your problems with the f stop, my piece of crap camera can't go over 11 no matter what! Well done, Scott!


Hi Scott, This is a lovely sharp shot with great colour and exposure. A very small nit is the bland BG colour but given the difficult conditions you shot this under I can understand that getting a more natural bg colour just wasn't an option. I am impressed with the sharpness at the shutter speed you had to work with and I like your composition. Like you, I'd opt for avoiding ISO 800 and above rather than getting more DOF. Good choice, good shot :)

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-05-18 16:39]

merhaba Scott
wonderful portrait photo of this beautiful owl that is giving nice pose to you...
i like composition, point of view, depth of field, background, lighting, colours, details and note
thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-09-23 8:53]

Hello Scott,
This afternoon I glanced through your photos. What a impressive collection! I enjoy it very much. This photo is for me one of the best. I like Owls very much and is so beautiful and perfect. It stole my heart.

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