Southern Boobook Owl in Mum’s Backyard

Southern Boobook Owl in Mum’s Backyard

Southern Boobook Owl Triptych, Mindarie, Perth, Photographic Art

Southern Boobook Owl Triptych, Mindarie, Western Australia

Bird photography can be a time consuming process but rewards can pay of at the least expected times. a few days a go I got a call from my mum to say she had spotted a small owl in her back garden.

As an avid owl lover mum has owl ornaments and images all around her house & garden so maybe this little guy just felt at home in her garden …

Southern Boobook Owl Triptych, Mindarie, Perth, Photographic Art

Southern Boobook Owl Triptych, Mindarie, Western Australia

Anyway, we headed off to mum’s to check out this visitor of hers hoping that he would still be there … and he was. We found him nestled in the foliage of a small tree in the garden. Luckily for us the tree’s foliage was dense enough to keep him protected but with enough gaps that we could get a good view of him, it’s not often you get so lucky ūüôā

Ironically the only reason mum spotted him was because the local birds were going crazy about his presence, fluttering around the tree and and making a rawkus noise. But then it is spring and no doubt they were a little concerned about their nests becoming potential dinner plates!

Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Perth, Photographic Art

Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

Maggie began looking into what type of owl he was while I started snapping away with my 70-200mm. The late afternoon sun was behind him making the light interesting and challenging. I knew the bright blue glimpses of sky would be blown out but the important thing was getting the owl exposed perfectly and retaining the brilliant green of the backlit foliage.

The little guy was barely moving so shutter speed wasn’t so important but I still needed to keep it up high enough to prevent any camera shake. It was pretty dark inside that tree and after a bit of experimentation I compromised at manually setting my exposure to 1/160th, f7.1 & ISO 1000 and I was very happy with how that worked out. Noise levels were very low even with the shadows brightened up in Lightroom and the level of detail around his eyes was astounding as you can see from the exploded view below.

Lightroom Close Up of Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

Lightroom Close Up of Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

Although the owl was not moving all that much it was a windy day and the leaves  were blowing around all over the place making it tricky to frame the owl and causing the sunlight to randomly blow out parts of the owls body.

Blown Out Patches - Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

Blown Out Patches – Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

All up we were there for around 40 mins, I took 213 photos and got some crackers. Turns out he was a Southern Boobook Owl, quite common around here though not so much in backyards!

One good tip for photographing animals is to always focus on the eyes. At 200mm in low light depth of field is often sacrificed for shutter speed and if the eyes are not pin sharp then the whole image can be ruined.

Focus on the Eyes - Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

Focus on the Eyes – Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

As usual my initial processing was done in Lightroom followed by adding effects in the new ON1 Photo Raw 2018 with some final tweaking in Photoshop, the Master File is then imported back into Lightroom from where I can export it in any format as required. All 3 tools have their benefits and work well together to produce a final image that is extremely high quality and suitable for any purpose.

Southern Boobook Owl Triptych, Mindarie, Perth - Tabletop Print Suggestion

Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia – Tabletop Print Suggestion

I haven’t really looked at the new version of ON1 Photo RAW 2018 short of using the effects module to create & apply presets. Keep an eye out for my upcoming review of this very interesting photo processing software package that is becoming serious competition for Lightroom.

Image Details

Location: Mindarie Backyard, Western Australia
Date: 26th December 2017
Time: 3pm – 3:40pm
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk11
Lens: EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM
Camera Mode: Manual
Exposure: 1/160 sec, f7.1 at ISO 1000

Post Processing

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Our Boobook Owl is also available on a wide range of Photo Products, Home Decor & Clothing at our Redbubble store:

It’s a proven fact that being out in nature is great for your mental and physical health.

While you won’t get the full health benefit from our range of prints and photo gifts they are always a great reminder of where you’d rather be.

So be sure to check out the rest of our range of Fine Art Prints at madcat.com.au and our unique photo gifts (scarves, wall tapestries, beach towels, tote bags and much more) at madaboutwa.com.au.

Cheers,
Dave

Photos – Chasing Ducks in Yanchep National Park

Photos – Chasing Ducks in Yanchep National Park

We heard that there are some baby Swans around Lake Wagardu in Yanchep National Park so we took a trip out there for our daily walk, sadly the Swans were a no-show but we did get to see a lot of other bird life around the Lake.

Abundant Bird Life, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Wester Australia

Abundant Bird Life, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Wester Australia

If you look closely at the above image you can see a Pelican and numerous other wading birds and ducks going about their daily business. The Park really is a natural wonder ūüôā

Hungry Duck, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Hungry Duck, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

One thing Yanchep National park has in abundance is Ducks!

When we sat on a park bench to eat our lunch three¬†Pacific Black Ducks waddled on over to see if they could get some crumbs. One was immediately chased off by the other two, obviously he wasn’t part of the “In-Crowd”!

Luckily for the Ducks we know more about what is good for them than they do so they weren’t very lucky in the food department. It is really important not to feed Ducks or any other wild animals as it¬†can upset the¬†balance of nature as well as causing serious health problems according to the Department of Parks & Wildlife.

The first couple of Duck shots weren’t quite so sharp, something to do with having a shutter speed of 1/40th sec I suspect ūüė≥ However, you can¬†get some interesting shots of animals with slow shutter speeds sometimes, the first 2 photos I took looked like the Duck was shaking and nodding his head …

Duck Says No, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Duck Says No, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Duck Says Yes, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Duck Says Yes, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Maybe he was just going Quackers  :mrgreen:

Being Spring there were also a lot of incredibly cute Ducklings around this extended family of Australian Wood Ducks were gorgeous …

Duckling Creche, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Duckling Creche, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Spring Ducklings, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Spring Ducklings, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Ducklings On Watch, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Ducklings On Watch, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

These two Pacific Black Ducklings cuddled up by the Lake were pretty damn cute too …

Twin Ducklings, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Twin Ducklings, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

While on our walk around the lake I spotted this awesome carving on one of the tree stumps, no idea who did it but it looked cool.

Kangaroo Carving, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Kangaroo Carving, Yanchep National Park, Perth, Western Australia

Hopefully we’ll spot the Swan’s¬†Cygnets on our next trip to the Park.

All of these images were processed in Lightroom CC & ON1 Photo 10 & Photoshop CC. You can download free trials of these programs or purchase them from the links below:

Cheers,
Dave

Photos – Twenty-Eight Parrot in the Daisies at Whiteman Park

Photos – Twenty-Eight Parrot in the Daisies at Whiteman Park

We went for a bush walk in Whiteman Park last week and spotted these two Twenty-Eight Parrots having lunch while being cleverly camouflaged by the yellow Daisies.

Twenty-Eight Having Lunch in the Daisies, Whiteman Park, Perth, Western Australia

Twenty-Eight Having Lunch in the Daisies, Whiteman Park, Perth, Western Australia

Twenty-Eight Standing Tall in the Daisies, Whiteman Park, Perth, Western Australia

Twenty-Eight Standing Tall in the Daisies, Whiteman Park, Perth, Western Australia

Whilst only found in Australia these guys are not considered endangered though they do compete for nesting space in the south west with the introduced Rainbow Lorikeets.

According to¬†noongarculture.org.au¬†the Twenty-Eight Parrot or¬†darlmoorluk¬†is the ‚Äėguardian or protector of the camps‚Äô, not that that stopped them from being eaten when the need was high ūüôā

You can read more about our Whiteman Park walk in Maggies blog post on MADAboutWA.com.au

Cheers,
Dave