I was up before daybreak this morning with plans to head to the woods for some photography. There was an old grass covered forest road I wanted to explore. A week or so ago I had hopped off the adjacent hiking trail and found a couple nice compositions, but didn’t explore its length. That changed this morning as I walked to its end. Unfortunately, I didn’t really find much in the way of compelling scenes. I did, however, have a nice encounter with some Great Horned Owls.
I first heard one, then another hooting. I did my best owl imitation and got an answer. Within a minute or two three of these magnificent birds were calling away. Finally one moved to a location where I could spot it. Unfortunately it was positioned between myself and the sun. Sitting in shadows and dim early morning light made for a difficult subject. High ISO, hand-held 150-600mm Sigma Contemporary lens and a healthy dose of exposure compensation allowed me to manage a reasonably usable shot. Without question it is a bit noisy, but considering the situation I’ll take it. A Great Horned Owl in the Croatan National Forest!