Owl in the Family

Dave Sandford


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Owl in the Family

London, Ontario.

Question for those of you having a look at this post. Do you ever wonder what goes into a photograph like this? Do think of the time & effort or perhaps along the lines of.. oh they are always so lucky & see these things all the time. Is it a piece of art or simply a snapshot?
Owls have been one of those subjects that have often eluded me. I’ve spent thousands of hours in the field over the years with little to no owning success until more recent years. This particular image of a great horned owl I photographed less than a km from home just last evening. It was my 7th owl sighting in as many days. 7 owls in a week is lots, but most were a fleeting glimpse, super late when it is too dark or they were in a position to difficult to capture well. Yesterday time & patience paid off. I spent 8 hrs in the field, I stumbled across 2 in close proximity under a thick canopy. The first I saw fly off from a distance. This one was settled in to roost for the day. Fast forward 6 hrs & into the last hour of light for the day. . & my subject finally cooperated! (I’d asked him in that first hour to fly on over to a more photogenic tree/backdrop) he finally made that move & I was ready & waiting to capitalize on the moment. As many encounters are it was fleeting. Just a few minutes & I thanked him for the time and whisked him happy hunting. I started the trek home excited to sit down at the computer & make my owl come to life. My editing process is slow & tedious. I take my time, I like to step away from it frequently & keep a fresh set of eyes on it. I typically spend a lot more time on images than most I know. 3 hrs later I wrapped up my processing. What you see here is the end result. On the day 11 hours of work went into producing 1 single image. And how many thousands of hours in the years prior spent in the bush, learning & evolving, trying & failing.. can we count all those hours too? Don’t get me wrong, no complains here,I love every sec I get to spend in the wild.I’m sharing these details so when u see images like this (not just mine but so many hard working photogs) to help u understand a little better what it takes & passion that goes into it. 

Original caption, Instagram @davesandford - Fall 2020


©Dave Sandford.

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