Two weeks ago, I posted pictures taken with my phone of a barred owl at Cistus Nursery for Wednesday Vignette, hosted by Anna of Flutter & Hum. The following weekend I got my new camera and I've been taking it with me pretty much everywhere, especially work. This week, I had another encounter with the owl. Just like last time, I was walking through the garden and only a chance look upward revealed the silent creature perched in the branches. It was in a much lower branch of a different tree this time, and I was less than ten feet from it. I backed away quietly and hurried to get my camera. It was still there when I returned and, just like last time, was totally unconcerned at my presence. It even started to ignore me, turning to watch cars go by on the road. I had to make noise to get its attention so it would look my way for pictures. That's right. I was the crazy guy talking to an owl to take its picture.
I may have gone a little overboard, snapping almost a dozen pictures. I haven't acquired a telephoto lens for my camera yet, so I had to rely on my little 12-32 mm. I think it did a pretty good job.
This is a cropped image from the picture above. I don't know how obvious it is from these little blog photos, but there is a significant improvement in quality compared to the cropped image from my phone. I could actually print these photos out and frame them.
I was testing the limits of how close I could get. I'm pretty almost directly below the owl here. It was hard getting the exposure right, pointing up at the sky like this. It's a bit dark. But this is about where I was when I first saw it.
And cropped for a closer look:
One last shot, with a bit more of an eye for composing a pretty picture. The plants were highly cooperative. Such a great start to my week had me practically skipping for the rest of the day.
I hope no one is sick of the owl, because if I see it again, I'll be posting more pictures here. I still want to catch it back in that eucalyptus tree, and maybe next time I'll have a telephoto lens.