Roy Mangersnes - Snowed down


Spring is finally in the air here in Norway, but I still can’t let go of winter and snow. This Long-eared Owl was roosting nearby my home together with two other birds last winter. I visited on several occasions to keep an eye on their movements. Then one morning it was snowing nicely and I quickly packed my gear. The bird was very approachable, but I spent an hour getting close enough to get the portrait I wanted. To focus on the bird I used a nearby oak tree as softening filter, removing the branches to the left of the owl. This way I got a nice clean shot of a fascinating bird.

Location: Rogaland, Norway

Tags: owl, Roy Mangersnes Long-eared

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  1. Werner said:

    22/04/2011 13:44

    Cool portrait!

  2. Bruno said:

    24/04/2011 19:07

    Never managed to spot an owl during a snowstorm. So, this makes me really drool... Very nice shot, Roy. Perhaps, I find the composition just a bit too "tight" (or not enough) for my taste.

  3. Roy Mangersnes said:

    24/04/2011 20:09

    Thanks guys.

    @ Bruno; I can somewhat agree about the composition, but it was a matter of finding the better inn between actually. Getting closer was not really an issue as my foreground wound be gone (I am resting the lens hood on the nearest tree). I was considering a vertical portrait, but there is a nasty branch crossing the lower part of the bird (you can see just a little bit down to the left - now I am pointing out faulty details in my images here...). I could of course do a hard cropping, but I prefer to keep as much of the original as possible, and most often the entire frame.

  4. Sven Zacek said:

    25/04/2011 10:32

    I think this is best photo of a Long-Eared Owl I have ever seen. I was once lucky enough to watch a Ural Owl during a heavy snowfall and it acted the same way. Just sitting there and letting the snow pile up on its head.

  5. Bruno said:

    25/04/2011 10:39

    @Roy, thanks for the story behind, IMHO it adds even more to my appreciation of the picture. As always, true wildlife photography is a matter of compromise and, as I can see here, you did a wonderful job. Maybe, is interesting trying a square crop?
    In any case, enjoy your great picture!