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Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl
Photo Information
Copyright: Rene Lortie (rlortie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 295 W: 59 N: 593] (2058)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-01-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark II, Canon EF100-400 IS L
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Owls all over the world, 5 favs. and up - PART 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-01 18:03
Viewed: 7229
Favorites: 6 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
Strix nebulosa
Chouette Lapone
Great Gray Owl

I finaly saw one of those elusive birds this afternoon. When you're looking for a bird for years, and you find what you were looking for, the excitement is very high. I am sure you know what I mean.
This one was taken in Parc des Iles de Boucherville, a wildlife paradise, near Montreal. In fact they were three, looking for small preys, in the same area of about 20,000 square feet. I had time to take almost 500 shots.

This species hunts during the day, often watching for prey from a low perch. Most of the time it is found in dense conifers, so it is often overlooked. One of the most elusive of birds, the Great Gray was discovered in America by Europeans before they realized that the species also occurs in Europe.

description 24-33" (61-84 cm). W. 5' (1.5 m). A huge, dusky gray, earless owl of the North Woods, with yellow eyes, large facial disks, and distinctive black chin spot bordered by white patches, resembling a bow tie.

Tech notes
Date/Time: 2005:01:01 15:24:26
Shutter speed: 1/400 sec
Aperture: 5,6
Exposure mode: Av
Flash: Off
Metering mode: Evaluative
Drive mode: Continuous (high): frame 1
ISO: 400
Lens: 100 to 400mm
Focal length: 260mm
AF mode: One-shot AF
Image size: 2336 x 3504
Rotation: none
Image quality: Fine
White balance: Auto
Color matrix 1: sRGB natural-looking hue and chroma
Color space: sRGB
Saturation: Normal
Contrast: 0
Sharpness level: 0
Tone: Normal
Gamma: Standard
Weather conditions: Sunny

Robbrown, milloup, Lesley, Fisher, LCannon, carper, red45, extramundi, Nadine, Callie, gazo, Liz, rosana has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To LCannon: Yes I do like it!rlortie 1 01-03 22:39
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Critiques [Translate]

What a superb capture Rene, the lighting is superb and the action is well seen, I hope there are a few more good ones in the 500 to show us.

Beautiful capture, I can well understand your excitement at meeting a fellow like this ;-))
Nice colouring and great sharpness. Does he think you're "small prey" since he seems to be checking you out? ;-))

  • Great 
  • Lesley Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 297 W: 13 N: 913] (2988)
  • [2005-01-01 18:36]

Fabulous...WOW...congrats on finding this gorgeous hunk of owl. There has been a GG Owl invasion in Canada this year as I am seeing a ton of them on another nature site I am on. I am so very envious of you seeing and photographing this wonderful spieces. I live in Massachusetts and we are just south of the area where they can be seen. I just love the pose of this GG. It is so expressive. I surely would love to see some more of the 500 shots you took. Kudos to you Rene.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-01-01 19:47]

Rene, you've got some bucks coming to you if you get to the right place. This is an incredible shot as are the rest of your 500 shots I'm sure.
I would post these at 72 dpi no higher as this can be reproduced. If someone tries to increase the size, the pixels will be seen. keep them small.
Way to go canuck!!! Go Canada go.!!!
I know how you felt, I shot one too, I kick myself for not having my SLR loaded. Ah man.!!!


This bird is stunning! His eyes are so intense. From your note I can almost feel the excitement you enjoyed in getting this amazing shot. Excellent clear sharp photo.
The composition is great, I like that all the branches are blurry except the one he's on.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-01-01 22:08]

Chouette alors!
Où? Où? Où l'as-tu prise?
Ce que tu dois être heureux de l'avoir photographiée. J'en ai déjà observé une dans les environs de St-Barthélémy mais je ne possédais pas de caméra à l'époque.
Un superbe travail: image et note bilingue en plus.

Wow Rene,
Fantastic capture, the sharpnes of this action photo is fantastic. I love owls. The bird is wel looking in the camera, the dof is also great, there is a good balance in the photo too, well done.

Awesome shot. Stunning. Very good post.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-01-02 5:15]

Great quality, but subject greatest :-) Beautiful owl in interesting pose. I like long DOF.

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

Great capture, nice movement.
Well done.

Very beautiful shot René.
Great sharp eyes.
Very good details, colours, light and note.
Great work.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-01-02 14:20]

OK, please post all 500 :) This is beautiful and you captured it very well. The sharpness is excellent and the composition perfect.

Very well done and thanks for posting

I voted the 2nd. one and I had not seen this one!!!
A very good pose. It is a very beautiful animal.
I would have cropped a bit on the right, to fill the frame with it. Is very impressing.

Great shot. I like the workshop that Laurie did though, it brings the detail out well.

  • Great 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2005-01-05 15:57]

Hi René
I just stay in debt and cannot catch up - this is a stunning pose you got here, with him working out the kink in his shoulders!
One just wants to hug him he is SO cute.
Nice note, nothing beats seeing THAT ellusive bird for the first time, and even better being able to nail him well too!
I am happy for you in getting him! Well done.

  • Great 
  • gazo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 72 W: 0 N: 13] (91)
  • [2005-01-13 21:12]

Cette prise est fantastique. Jamais je n'ai vu une Lapone avec cette posture.
La photo est excellente sous tous les plans.

Rene, you slowly become my supreme favourite photographer in the ,,north american fauna,, category ! It is always a pleasure to admire your work, you should never stop pursuing it, my friend !

  • Great 
  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-03-20 20:26]

Quel bel oiseau sûrement mon préféré, vous avez réussi une prise magnifique, quel regard percant a cette chouette il devait y avoir une proie pas très loin ? Belle lumière, couleur et détail impressionnant.

Bravo René

On attend avec impatience d'autres photos :-)

Glad you're prepared and nailed this once in a lifetime shot. simply stunning!

Hi Rene what a fantastic shot you have here, something to be really very proud of.

  • Great 
  • methos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 213 W: 51 N: 281] (1189)
  • [2007-04-15 12:39]

Hi Rene,
Great shot. I love the pose and the eye contact.
Lovely details and colors.
Nice composition.

Hi Rene. Powerful shot, highly evocative.there is something almost anthropomorphic in that face, those eyes, the stance. Looks like an old woman(sorry if it sounds sexist) dresses in sombre colours. The details are wonderful- so is the plumage of this bird. Lovely light and setting. Bravo Rene. Regards. Klaudio.

Hello Rene

So natural and so beautiful! Majestic bird in a majestic pose, brilliantly captured. Light is great - the stream glinting the right eye and perfect composition!

Many thanks!

Fantastic capture, the sharpnes of this action photo is fantastic.

great capture, TFS Ori

What a beauty Rene. You had a great opportunity. I like the DOF that makes the lower portion phase out nicely. You got great clarity in this and you framed it with the branch in the picture very well. Just a beautiful shot of this beautiful owl. TFS Trevor

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