LeGuilloux
LeGuilloux

Watching. First Snowfall



Great Grey Owl in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains - this big guy had a wingspan of more than 48". There were two in the area which explains why it was...
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Great Grey Owl in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains - this big guy had a wingspan of more than 48". There were two in the area which explains why it was focused on a nearby tree.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Beautiful Owls Photo Contest
Featured
Amateur Winner Show Snowflakes Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Show Snowflakes Photo Contest
Staff Winter Selection 2015
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Peer Award
Superb Composition
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Magnificent Capture
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Outstanding Creativity
nicciv john_arsenault JePePhoto Moson MargaretPriestland alfredoybarra Blitzen700 +9
All Star
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Genius
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Emotions

Impressed
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Top Ranks

Beautiful Owls Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Beautiful Owls Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 2
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
World Photography Day Photo Contest 2018Top 10 rank
World Photography Day Photo Contest 2018Top 10 rank week 2
World Photography Day Photo Contest 2018Top 10 rank week 1
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
The Talent AwardsTop 30 rank
Our Natural Planet Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Our Natural Planet Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
ViewBug Photography AwardsTop 10 rank
ViewBug Photography AwardsTop 10 rank week 1
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 rank
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 2
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
Show Snowflakes Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Show Snowflakes Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
On The Wild Side Photo ContestTop 20 rank
On The Wild Side Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 2
On The Wild Side Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 4Top 10 rank
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 4Top 20 rank week 1

Categories


5 Comments | Report
Ebtide2325
 
Ebtide2325 April 23, 2017
So jealous! I am yet to get a great owl shot! This is a beauty!
LeGuilloux
LeGuilloux April 27, 2017
Thank you - keep your camera ready and I'm sure you will find one.
Dano351 PRO+
 
Dano351 June 08, 2017
Very nice, great grey owls are my favourite next to Snowy's.
LeGuilloux
LeGuilloux March 05, 2018
Thanks Dano351 - I haven't even seen a snowy yet other than the zoo.
Alwolfe Premium
 
Alwolfe October 31, 2017
Awesome shot and great composition!
LeGuilloux
LeGuilloux March 05, 2018
Thank you Alwolfe!
scoobyblade PRO+
 
scoobyblade October 08, 2018
Great shot 👍🏻
RickL PRO+
 
RickL September 24, 2020
Exceptional composition and beautiful detail
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Behind The Lens

Location
Watching. First Snowfall. This photo of a Great Grey Owl was taken in the Canadian foothills of the Rocky Mountains, about 50 miles northwest of Sundre, Alberta. I had an opportunity to travel the back country wilderness with a hunter who was familiar with the area.
Time
My first photo of a Great Grey Owl in the wild was taken at 4:43pm on Nov 13, 2015. It was overcast and cold and had just started to snow very heavily. We were settling into a blind for the end of the day and I went to take relieve myself; walking about a hundred feet into the trees. A very large, very silent shape flew over me into a clearing ahead and I didn't have my camera! I rushed back to grab some gear and when I returned the owl was still perched on a large dead tree. I was surprised that it stayed still – and very focused on the trees above and to my left as I moved in and shot continuously.
Lighting
The light was very low due to cloudy, overcast conditions. I didn't have a flash or tripod so was adjusting for a variety of exposures and that's what gave some nice motion to the snowflakes. I loved the way the first snowflakes landed on the bird and tree to enhance the blended camouflage effect.
Equipment
I was using a borrowed Canon 5DS R and a rented long lens for testing. I also had a tripod and remote release however in my rush to get back to the owl's location that was left in the blind. Camera: Canon EOS 5DS R Lens: Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM Aperture: f/5.6; ISO: 500; Shutter Speed: 1/50; Focal Length: 400mm
Inspiration
I have always been inspired by this quote: “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” - John Muir. I went on this day trip to challenge myself and expected to get wild Whitetail/Mule deer shots – maybe coyotes or moose if lucky. Photographed only two deer in 10 hours but instead I found a rare, beautiful bird in a wilderness setting with snow fall - timed perfectly. So often I have found this to be the case – having a camera ready for the unexpected will provide more than you seek. You need to just get out there for the opportunity.
Editing
Shot in RAW and processed with minor sharpening/color adjustments and cropping in Adobe Lightroom.
In my camera bag
The equipment I have in my bag is more economical gear than what I had borrowed and rented for this trip. I love my Canon 70D and have since purchased an older model of the Canon 100-400mm lens on Kijiji for $900. I always carry a Canon 50mm prime and a Sigma wide angle 10-20mm for the landscape opportunities. I have used an aluminum tripod and monopod but have actually missed shots trying to setup on the move so I frequently leave that out for wildlife unless I am in a blind.
Feedback
Be prepared for the unexpected. It doesn't always go as planned. From the moment you start on a trail, have the camera on, lens cap off and telephoto adjusted for distance. Take a moment to stop and listen – and be ready for that special shot.

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