We had a nesting pair of Great-Horned Owls move into the neighborhood earlier in the year. This year they raised three chicks. Creatures of habit, they visit our yard on an almost daily basis, making photography almost too easy. While I lack a true wildlife lens, they are fearless enough to let me approach close enough to make do with shorter optics. On this particular night, one of the kids curiously watched as I took what became my favorite image of the week.

Great-Horned Owl (Juvenile) in the Backyard

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 55-200 F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS at 200 mm, f/5.6 at 1/950, ISO 6400

Astute readers will notice that I skipped July weeks 1 and 2. A long backpack that spanned those weeks yielded hundreds of photos. It often takes me a while to edit a collection that large- and I’m still working on May photos from Capitol Reef National Park! As per usual, I’m soldiering ahead and will revisit those weeks later in the year.

Digital Darkroom. First the foremost, I cropped the image. Maybe someday I’ll own a 600 mm lens- but I doubt it. I lowered highlights (-57) trying to reduce the glare of the background sky. I also lifted up shadows by a bit. I then painted over the bird with a brush, raising shadows more (+36), and adding some texture.

WIRR stands for Weekly Image Rich Ruh. This regular feature on Das Has von Ruh will show and describe my favorite photo created during this weekly period. My weeks start on Mondays, as does the WIRR. I’m hoping to include commentary on the story, the setting, the specs, or the sentiments, depending on the circumstances.

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