Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Evening at Stearn's Lake

Two subjects at Stearn's Lake this evening, different sides of the trail, a few minutes apart and completely different photographic challenges. The Western Grebe was brightly lit by direct light just before the sun dipped behind the mountains.

I tried a low ISO setting, and dialed back the exposure value to keep the white in the bird's face from being blown out.

On the other side of the trail a Great Horned Owl was perched in the open just after the sun had set.

To capture the colors and as much detail in the owl as I could, I dialed up both the ISO value and exposure compensation. Then I used a fence post as an impromptu tripod to steady the camera for the longer exposure time.

As the days shorten and evening photography opportunities become fewer the adjustments to make the most of opportunities that do arise are crucial. Hopefully more opportunities for practice present themselves!


  1. You're getting out TONS! Awesome GHO shots lately.

  2. Very nice shots! I especially like the owl!

  3. Thanks for the comments - I feel the rush of the time change coming. After the weekend it'll be dark when I get out of work.

  4. What a rare & neat sighting! I don't see them a lot here - they do live in my area but they're pretty shy. Wonderful photo!

  5. Owls can be a bit funky like that - very tough to spot even though they are more common than we tend to think. Then you spot one and all of a sudden you start to see them all the time. This is a good season for owls, the leaves are thinning out or gone, late afternoon or early morning light helps to make their silhouettes stand out on the bare branches. Also I've heard this is the time of year when they can be their most vocal, so keep an ear out for hoots. Look for them on level branches, with some degree of cover - usually above. Be careful though - once you spot one you'll be looking for them in every clump of trees!