How to photograph a barred owl

Christopher RobinDowntown, Our Town Arts

Working in the yard last week, I heard a couple of owls having a conversation out back. Silly to think I could sneak up on an owl, I stealthily worked my way around the house to find this guy resting in our woods. He did not care in the least that the nature paparazzi had arrived and posed until I moved on.

This is a tricky shot to get with the owl in the shadows and the much brighter trees and sky behind. With my subject not moving, I decided to try using HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. HDR is a process of taking several varied under and over exposed images of the subject. Using software, the multiple images are combined into one, which combines them to give a generally balanced image showing detail in the shadows and reducing the highlights.

Normally used more for landscapes and such, this technique does not work for any moving subject. Most current cameras and smart phones offer an HDR option. Explore this a little and see what you can come up with.

This week is the First Friday Art Walk so Robin and I will be in our downtown Knoxville studio until about 9 p.m. Please stop in and introduce yourself.

Photographer Chris and painter Robin Rohwer each week share a painting or photograph that captured their interest in hopes that it will also capture yours. They have a small studio and gallery in the Phoenix Building at 418 South Gay Street where you can stop and see their work. Their website is All works are copyright protected.

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