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DeanYounger

The Maiden & the Owl



A display of Falconry at the Abbey Medieval Festival.

A display of Falconry at the Abbey Medieval Festival.
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Contest Finalist in Fairytale Portraiture Photo Contest
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7 Comments | Report
Byronfairphotography PRO
 
Byronfairphotography August 05, 2017
superb. Love this.
edrobson Premium
 
edrobson August 10, 2017
Wonderful.
AngelLappmarkSe PRO
 
AngelLappmarkSe August 26, 2017
This portrait is unbelievable!
AngelLappmarkSe PRO
 
AngelLappmarkSe August 26, 2017
You have my vote for the image of the month! Love it.
shawndebord
 
shawndebord September 07, 2017
I just love this pic
TomasTar PRO
 
TomasTar June 06, 2018
Awesome
randyblack PRO+
 
randyblack December 22, 2018
Beautiful image!!

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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at the Abbey Medieval Festival, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, which is the largest most authentic medieval festival in the southern hemisphere.
Time
This is currently one of my favourite images to date. It was around mid-afternoon, and I'd been at the festival grounds since before sunrise, well before opening, when I came across the Falconry Exhibit. It was in the shade under a huge tree at around 2:30pm, July 9, 2017.
Lighting
It was nice even light in the shade of the trees. I tend to prefer to underexpose when shooting, and as it was afternoon with some harsh light, the shade was a blessing.
Equipment
I shot this and most of the festival with my Canon 1100D which is an APS-C (crop) sensor, and that gave me a greater focal length for the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II with a HOYA HD Pro UV Filter.
Inspiration
After seeing most of what the Medieval Festival had to offer, and already being on-site for around nine hours, I was looking for somewhere to take a much needed break. But before I found anywhere, I spotted the small Falconry Exhibit. I walked over from the side, and I saw behind the main speaker talking to the gathered crowd, there was a young woman dressed in her middle ages attire holding an owl. I could have just snapped off a shot and gone off to find a venison pie and some honey mead, but I took my time, composed and held the shot (that lens gets heavy), and waited for the optimal moment. Just when I thought I had a great shot the owl turned to face the girl and look her directly in the eyes. My moment! If I'm shooting people, I've always loved some kind of interaction between the subject and someone, or something. The interaction between human and animal in particular makes for great photographs, and this profile shot of the two of them staring into each others eyes was just perfect.
Editing
I usually start in Lightroom, and from there I go to Dfine 2 in the Google Nik Collection for noise reduction, as I find it to be far less destructive. I then move onto Photoshop if a shot needs some more complex processing, ending with Colour Efex Pro 4 (Nik) for any contrast needs. I followed the same process for this image, though I didn't feel it needed anything done to it in Photoshop, so I skipped that step.
In my camera bag
Various Canon camera bodies, one of my choosing or two if I can fit them in, depending on the shoot. I prefer full-frame, but a crop sensor still comes in handy at times. I always carry my Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II USM, it is such a great piece of glass. A Canon 50mm f1.8 STM, and the Canon 18-55mm EF-S. The Sigma AF 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art will be my next purchase, along with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM which will complete a more full transition to full frame, and will remove the 18-55mm from my carry around kit. Along with camera and lenses, I also have in my backpack a couple of Canon 430EXII Speedlite's with some small diffusers, a Rapid Strap, some NISI ND Filters with holder and adaptor, a CPL Filter, remote shutter release, lens hoods, a couple of extra memory cards and batteries, battery charger, and some microfibre cloths. I also take a Manfrotto 290xtra Tripod almost everywhere I go.
Feedback
This is more of an opportunistic shot than a planned one, like a landscape or portrait shoot for instance. For anyone trying to capture a shot like this I would say to still take your time as much as possible, think about what you want to capture. Wide? Tight? Profile? DoF? These are all still things you need to think about before you aim, maybe even moreso in a shot like this, as you don't often get a second crack at it if you don't get it just the way you want it the first time.

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