Barn Owl image choices

Perched Barn Owl - High Key Perched Barn Owl – High Key  

I photographed this perched Barn Owl yesterday at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in northern Utah near a hill that was covered in snow which gave this image a high key effect. High key images seem to be an acquired taste and I quite like this one but I also wanted to see what it would look like in black and white.

 Perched Barn Owl - Black and WhitePerched Barn Owl – Black and White

I converted the image to black and white using Photoshop just to see what it would look like.

I actually like them both, the color image because it shows the rich colors of the Barn Owl and the black and white image for its simplicity.

(I ran a poll for 24 hours to see which Barn Owl image most people preferred)

The image that got the most votes was the color version with 76% and the black and white version was 24% of the vote.



  1. Julie G. January 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Magnificent photographs, Mia! I did not realize Barn Owl feathers were so rich in color and detail. Perfection!

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks Julie, some Barn Owls have even richer coloration than this one does.

  2. Bob Bushell January 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I think they’re both nice, but, I really love the first one.

  3. Merrill Ann Gonzales January 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Mia, I can’t answer that question, because I like them both for different reasons. Next week I’ll be up at Audubon where they have a display of birds and animals that have been restored by a taxidermist. Most were road-kill, some other unfortunate means and if you know anything about Audubon you realize they have to research every critter they find and document it. One of them is a barn owl… I’m hoping to be able to go up and do some photos of it, perhaps for a painting. Your color photos help me to remember the colors properly. All the motion photos you have give me some ideas in the event I have to change a pose somewhat from the photograph. You help me to understand the movements of the birds.
    As far as black and white goes, I’ve long been a pen and ink artist since I was a kid. I learned how to capture the “che” of a bird through sumi-e painting when I was ten. It’s a whole other way of expressing and seeing. When I really want to understand a bird I do pen and ink since you really have to understand structure etc.
    So your choice is impossible for me. I can only offer my profound thanks for helping me explore where I’m not able to go.

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Merrill, I hope you are able to get those photos next week at Audubon.

      Thank you so much for your compliments on these images.

  4. Sherry in MT January 16, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Okay so I didn’t vote. I like the first one because of the colors of the owl. You see them so seldom in light that you don’t realize what lovely color they have but I also like that the black and white one pops some of the details in his feathers.

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Not voting is fine Sherry, I couldn’t decide which I liked best.

  5. Susan January 16, 2013 at 6:39 am


  6. judy watson January 16, 2013 at 5:46 am

    How wonderful!~
    I’ll never be able to get one that close so I’m quite jealous.
    love the barn owls!

    • Mia McPherson January 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks Judy. I saw some today but they were too far away.

Comments are closed.