Low Light Female Short-eared Owl Blur

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Female Short-eared Owl BlurFemale Short-eared Owl Blur – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/80, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Before the sun came up three days ago and before I photographed the Short-eared Owls chicks I had an opportunity to photograph a female owl perched on a fence post. I wasn’t even prepared to photograph yet, I didn’t have my Noodle on the window, I had left my camera set on my default ISO of 400 which I knew would give me very slow shutter speeds in the low light but I didn’t know if she would fly away so I took a chance that I might get a few sharp images or maybe even a blurry one that I liked.

I was only able to take 35 images of the female Short-eared Owl before she took off and once I hit the shutter button I didn’t stop to raise my ISO to increase my shutter speed because she was rousing and I didn’t want to miss that.

Once she flew off and the sun came up I almost forgot about the very early shots of her until I loaded the files onto my hard drive and started viewing them. I was right, some of the images of her were a mess but when I got to this frame I just had to laugh. Her head and face were sharp, the perch was sharp but everything between her head and the post was a twisty blur. I still can’t figure out how she kept her head still while she shook and roused so vigorously.

I know that blurs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I have grown quite fond of this beautiful, shaking, Short-eared owl blur.

Life is good, it is even better with laughter.



  1. Joan Carey May 26, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I love that image, love the blur with the sharp clarity of owl’s face. I was thinking River Dance 😉

  2. Mia McPherson May 26, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you all so much for your comments. I truly appreciate them.

  3. Elephant's Child May 26, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Serendipity at its very best.

  4. Linda Laugen May 26, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Looks to me like she is into hip-hop!! THANK YOU for sharing LIFE and laughter!! As fer me-self, I think the “clear” head is a metaphor – and she is looking right at YOU – or me-self!! Can’t you just feel it???

  5. Patty Chadwick May 26, 2016 at 11:21 am

    One of my dogs does a Happy Dance, but I’ve never seen an owl do one before…

  6. Larry Muench May 26, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I think it’s a great shot! Love the lifted foot and the wing action. It really does look like she’s dancing.

  7. Kathryn Duchene May 26, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Look like she’s dancing. I love it!

  8. Liz Cormack May 26, 2016 at 7:01 am

    I love this photo! She’s just doing The Twist!

  9. Grace Dunklee Cohen May 26, 2016 at 6:13 am

    What a great I catch, Mia. Sometimes nature gives us little surprise gems like this. I love this!

  10. Steven Kessel May 26, 2016 at 6:09 am

    Love the shot. Sometimes the unorthodox trumps the conventional. We all have buckets full of images of birds and animals frozen in absolute stop-motion at 1/2000 or so. An image like this is far more expressive of their true nature. In this picture the bird is alive!

  11. Kim May 26, 2016 at 6:03 am

    Love it!

  12. Bob mcpherson May 26, 2016 at 5:32 am

    She is a beaut. Thanks for sharing with us.

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