2006-08-30 - Night Eyes

I was on my way home from work a while ago when I spotted a bird sitting on a fence post along my driveway. Although it was completely dark, I thought I'd stop and have a closer look. This is what I found - I think it is a Grass Owl. I thought I might be able to get a photo from a distance but to my amazement, I was able to walk to almost within a metre of it. It didn't seem to be able to see me in front of the car lights. It was really quite breathtaking to get such a close view of this majestic, wild creature.

Technical details of this shot: 200mm handheld, F/2.8, 1/40s @ ISO 400. I also used flash set at -1EV.

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kerry Really special.
Anonymous 40th of a sec with that quallity? The beauty of a VR lens, eh? =D

Nice shot.
Stephen Cameron The VR definitely helps a lot... However, in a situation like this where there isn't a lot of ambient light and the flash is providing most of the illumination, you can use a very slow shutter speed and not get any blur because the flash duration is very short (often 1/1000s to 1/20,000s depending on power output I think). You can try taking a shot in complete darkness with flash and so long as the flash is the only light source, it shouldn't matter how long your exposure is - you'll still get a sharp shot.