Today starts an extensive series 😅 I'd like to explain: already in December last year, I had resolved to photograph owls in 2021, which I have never done before. Finally it worked out!
Almost 2 months ago I finally had the opportunity to visit eagle owls in their natural environment, at an old quarry. There they were breeding since the beginning of the year. Even though I had seen these huge birds of prey in a wildlife park a few years ago - watching them in the wild was a more intense experience. Eagle owls, the largest owls in the world, are truly majestic animals.
The first time I saw them, in June, after dark, there were already beautiful flight activities in some distance, but I couldn't think of taking good pictures yet. Since I was there in just 20 minutes by car, I tried a second time - again with moderate success, but at the latest then it was clear: I want to dedicate a whole series to these great animals.
Said and, well, almost done. Because it turned out to be very difficult. Normally I look first where an animal species is basically and then look for me very selectively suitable places with beautiful background colours or angles that are photogenic. As soon as a bird, for example, shows up at the intended spot, I can quickly achieve good results.
That was quite different here than usual. Many places or rocks to which they fly are very unphotogenic: Bird droppings, branches sticking in, bright and dark spots, there are actually always some disturbing elements. Not to mention the difficult light - mostly they showed themselves active only in twilight or darkness.
To work with it was quite difficult for me, for example I didn't shoot a scene on a rock at all with fresh (white) bird droppings, no matter what beautiful maneuvers they just flew - my personal picture style is just less trimmed to documentation but rather to aesthetics, which is ultimately a matter of taste.
Since I do not like to compromise in this respect and also do not "stamp", it was quickly clear to me that I will have an extremely large amount of rejects and I simply have to compensate for this by the number of attempts/visits, because every now and then they also sit down on photogenic spots.
So I invested a lot of time. For almost 9 weeks I was there almost every day - in total I visited the eagle owls 51 times! Mainly also because temporally specifically in 2021 I had the opportunity to do so due to several factors and that is rather impossible in normal years. I can't remember ever having made such a big effort in such a short time for a series. Often I came home without a picture, but very slowly built up a certain portfolio.
I would like to show you now 80 pictures, divided into 3 series: today I start with the shots from the steep face, which also contain a little "action". The 3 young animals, in midsummer already almost grown up, showed there many flight maneuvers.
But for this first series I definitely would not have had to go there so often 😅 - since I see my strengths rather in the choice of perspective and I do not like too striking imaging scale, my photographic focus was not on flight shots (there the image composition is often rather coincidental), but on the motifs that will be seen in parts 2 and 3. Here the main work went into it, because for that I needed the proximity to the animals and that one did not have exactly daily.
The second part called "At the edge of the forest at eye level" contains, like this first one, 25 pictures- it will be published in one week. After another week follows the most extensive part with 30 pictures - my favorite part, called "Hunters of the Night".
In the coming weeks I'm looking forward to fill my dark eye rims with colour again and now I wish you a lot of fun with my first bird of prey series ever 😉 .
I hope you enjoyed the series 😃