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
photolifejournal Tanya333 scottmunster davidmakinster dumbdrum angelundercover Alwolfe +57
Absolute Masterpiece
MERCEDESS MonicasFoto Alexander-Johnson carolcardillo sayram Steve_Thomas dcortell +46
Top Choice
William_Doyle MichaelMorse ArthurGCowan Gilleroo1 lawrencehenrybird bwkinsc Ivar-Ola +34
Magnificent Capture
SmallTownPhotography Vicente_Masso jasonzinsmayer MsJudi BrendaCrawford Cathleen_Shea MarciaHickman +14
Outstanding Creativity
nicolevargo john_arsenault JePePhoto Moson MargaretPriestland alfredoybarra Blitzen700 +9
All Star
noneoftheabove jlappen rayburns Nikilaw bethany66 klepikovadaria Targetair_Images +5
Superior Skill
Sunshinesherry keb edhendricks jimcca dawnhynes RachieBachie johnboywalton196 +3
Genius
travel4ever

Emotions

Impressed
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Submitted to Photo Contests

Top ClassTM

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

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5 Comments | Report
Paulacook144 PRO
 
Paulacook144 March 12, 2017
Beautiful shot nice background too. Well seen and handled.
LeGuilloux
LeGuilloux March 14, 2017
Thank you!
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 👍🏻

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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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