We Simplify The Technical!

Peggy Farren interviews bird photographer and guide Kathryn Dow.  Kathryn shares her enthusiasm and knowledge in photographing owls.

Thanks for tuning into episode #69 of The Understand Photography Show!

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Understand Photography General Notes


Upcoming Trips:
Everglades 4 Day Photo Adventure:  Everglades, FL January 25-28, 2018

Florida’s Forgotton Coast – Apalachicola area April 16-20, 2018. 

Women’s Photography Weekend Naples May 4-6, 2018

About Kathryn

  • worked in camera retail 10+ years (Hunt’s 8 yrs)
    • great learning experience
    • knows all brands of cameras and equipment
  • “Birder” since age 3
  • “spark” bird was a Snowy Owl
  • always wanted to be in the woods

Why Owls? How do you find them?

–   beautiful, elusive ways, challenging

  • best camouflage feathers
    • imprint the patterns into your memory, they will be easier to spot
  •  has photographed 11 species of owl so far
  • some are cavity nesters, some take nests of other raptors
  • learn their preferred habitats and habits, feather details, and calls
    • they call to each other more often during nesting season
      • Apps for identification and learning calls:  Sibley, Audubon (ties in with ebird – bird sighting reference)
      • Cornell University (Ornithology Dept) website has excellent databases

Getting the Best Shots

  • to get more ‘eye-level’ shots, back up and use a longer lens
  • Kathryn uses a Canon 800mm, good tripod (Induro  with Induro Gimbal ) with padded OP/TECH Wraps  to make carrying on her shoulder more comfortable
  • recommended lenses:  Sigma 150-600mmCanon 70-300mmCanon 17-40mm
  • recommended gear: Snake Boots for thick vegetation
  • be very quiet while walking through the woods, pick a spot and sit VERY QUIET and STILL, the animals will eventually forget your presence and go back to their normal routines
  • BE PATIENT!  Don’t chase your subject, don’t use flash – it disturbs and annoys the birds
  • use a blind for deep woods cover

Mistakes Most Often Seen

  • bothering the birds
  • spending too much time checking the back of the camera
    • check the histogram and blinking highlights quickly so you don’t miss a great moment
    • great shots may only happen for 2-3 minutes, check your images LATER
  •  boost ISO to 800-1600 (depending on light) – you can always reduce noise, you can’t fix blur

What’s Next for Kathryn

  • FCCC March 9-11:  Classroom presentation “Everything Owls” and Wooten’s Airboat Tours

Kathryn Dow

Website:  KathrynDow.photoshelter.com

Instagram:  @KathrynDow_

Facebook: Kathryn Dow

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