Barn Owl BlurBarn Owl Blur – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/400, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 257mm, natural light, not baited

Three days ago I spent 59 minutes photographing this Barn Owl at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in poor light. I did come away with many images I like despite the bad lighting conditions but it took me a few days to review them all and I found this image where the Barn Owl’s face and feet are sharp but because of my slow shutter speed the wings were blurred along with the back and tail and there was even a bit of light in the owl’s eyes. I didn’t get this Barn Owl blur on purpose, it was the result of not enough light and a slow shutter speed.

Last week I did a post on the many nicknames used for Barn Owls and among them was “Ghost Owl” and for some reason when I first looked at this frame I thought the blurred wings did make it look “ghostly”.

Typically I prefer images with “sweet” light and enough shutter speed to freeze the action but every once in a while I will create an image like this that I think of as a “happy accident”.