While visiting my friend Ron’s family farm in northern Montana we had the opportunity to photograph this young Great Horned Owl very early in the morning, in fact when we first spotted it the sun had not yet risen. Normally I prefer to have natural not man-made perches, though I do make exceptions. This owl is perched on an old ladder to what used to be a child’s fort. I remember thinking that morning how much I liked how the bird was framed by the warm tones of the wood and the rustic feel to it.
The photographs I have attached to this post are of the same Great Horned Owl fledgling, taken in the same location on the same morning. The backgrounds seem very different and that is because of the angle I used when I created the each of the photos.
I photographed both these owl images handheld. For the image above I propped the lens on my knee while sitting on the ground pointing my lens slightly upward. The golden color you see at the bottom of the frame are out of focus grasses and above them the blue is the sky.
I stood up and pointed my lens slightly down towards the owl when I created the image above. The sky didn’t show in this image just the out of focus grasses of the background.
When I am photographing I try to be aware of how a slight change of angle can make a huge difference in the final image. I’ll often move up or down to see what impact that has on the bird and background.
I can honestly say that I like both backgrounds with this owl and don’t prefer one over the other. By changing the angle I used to produce these images though I have given each of the photos a different look and feel. Just by moving a little I can change the angles and backgrounds and give the subject a different look.