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Contest Finalist in Food Chain Struggles Photo Contest
Peer Award
samanthadharmawardane johnhrdina andreawallace treburi Worldcitizen karinmcfarlane wudalibabu +30
Magnificent Capture
reggaedancer miketrainor terriemcclay_2545 JTello JimmyJames2232 mialocquet p_eileenbaltz +10
Absolute Masterpiece
MeaganHauteclocque Devanpayne LotusRadiante krishanvarghese Svenergy72 nandicmb BenWhyte +3
Superb Composition
marinaantonova cohooper Mcmanp IMIKEMEDIA RevMarc_0713 MIsabel
Top Choice
ronjudyluv2travel Badgrandad censrd
texaaronpueschel KellieMyka
Outstanding Creativity
All Star
Superior Skill



Top ClassTM

Capture The Food Chain Photo ContestTop 10 class
Picture Owls Photo ContestTop 20 class
Picture Owls Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
My Favorite Pet Photo ContestTop 10 class
My Favorite Pet Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Beautiful Owls Photo ContestTop 20 class
Beautiful Owls Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Food Chain Struggles Photo ContestTop 10 class
Food Chain Struggles Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Only Owls Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1


5 Comments | Report
ergogirl February 25, 2018
Wow, stunning capture
karinmcfarlane PRO+
karinmcfarlane April 26, 2018
Amazing capture, poor chick, but that's nature
ChrisBPhotography PRO+
ChrisBPhotography August 18, 2018
To echo Karin McFarlane's thought - vivid example of the circle of life.
texaaronpueschel PRO+
texaaronpueschel November 04, 2019
Bottoms up. An exciting capture of nature in action.
ronjudyluv2travel PRO+
ronjudyluv2travel November 15, 2020
Incredible capture!

Behind The Lens

I took the photo at the Wilhelma Zoo Stuttgart, Germany. I often walked by that owl cage, but in most cases the owl just sat there, sometimes even in a corner where it was hard to see. On this occasion I came by just after feeding time and I saw why owls are predators ...
The picture was taken about 4pm in late September 2008. I was on my way to the exit of the zoo when I saw that owl.
No great or elaborate lighting on this shot. I was lucky to have enough light to have a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action. (1/1000s, f/3.2, ISO 400). It was just a matter of getting the camera fast enough to the eye to get the shot.
I used a Nikon D2Hs with a 70-200mm/2.8 lens, no flash (I do not flash animals, even if it wouldn't be forbidden by the zoo rules). Also no tripod (wouldn't have helped here anyway).
When I saw the owl grasping the dead chick I was happy to get another shot than the usual "owl sitting and doing nothing" picture. I didn't expect the owl to gulp the chick as a whole, though...
The photo is only minimally retouched, I corrected the color balance a bit and did a bit of sharpening and contrast enhancement. Nothing more.
In my camera bag
After my Nikon equipment grew to heavy for my taste, I switched to the Micro Four Thirds system. Nowadays, I use an Olympus E-M1 Mk. II with a bunch of lenses.
When walking through the zoo, take your time in front of the different animals to learn their behaviour. On each visit, you might still see something unexpected, so keep your camera ready at all times. And look at the feeding plans ;)

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