Re-visit To An Old Friend To Test DxO PureRAW 1.5

Back in 2016 I spent quite a few cold early mornings and evenings with a pair of wintering Short Eared Owls in Derbyshire in the UK. Some of the time I spent was far too dark to get some good shots due to having to shoot at too high an ISO.

Back then I was shooting with the Nikon D810 which was and still is a great camera today (it’s currently my backup camera), but high ISO wasn’t fantastic. Today I invested in the DxO PureRAW standalone software which “cleans” RAW files up before processing. I have been using DxO PhotoLab for sometime, however, I was only using it for it’s denoise capabilities and therefore PureRAW is a better fit.

So, I chose the following photograph to test the capabilities. My biggest issue with a lot of denoise software is that it makes the background unpleasing and detracts the viewer’s eye from where you are trying to force them to look, however, DxO PureRAW really makes a good job of the background.

I’m no mouthpiece for DxO, in fact, I had some words of dissapointment with them recently over the upgrade path of their PhotoLab software, but there is no doubt their PureRAW is something special.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


One Of The New Neighbours

I posted last week about a pair of Little Owls that have moved into a dead Cork Oak near the Quinta.

This morning, I managed to grab a nice side-lit shot of one of them. I am still without my “big gun” after it suffering damage (good news is, it is being repaired, more on this soon), so I was armed with what I call my walkabout lens, the fab Nikon 80-400mm VR.

I’m looking forward to getting some great shots of these two and I am working out an angle so that I can hide and shoot, but until my 500mm lens has been repaired it is all in vain.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


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An Old Owl Friend Or a New One?

The local Little Owl I photographed earlier this year has been missing from it’s favourite perch on a dead tree stump for months. I have heard Little Owls in that area and simply put it down to the breeding season.

Last night we passed the tree stump on our way into the village and there was a Little Owl back on top.

This evening I decided to go and have a session with it, I arrived at the stump and the Owl was already sitting there, so turned to plan b. I drove away and prepared the car as a hide and then parked up close to the tree. I find that Little Owls can be approached in this way as long as they don’t see you. I had a camouflage net over the passenger window, a Photography Bean Bag over the top of the open window aperture with the camera resting on top. I managed to get some shots before it flew to various other trees as it was clearly hunting for it’s dinner. (the story continues below the photos)

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Little Owl - Mocho-galego - Athene noctua
đŸ“· Nikon D850, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 1/160sec, f/8, ISO100
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This Week’s Featured Print: Ready To Pounce (Short-Eared Owl)

This week’s featured print is also a new addition to the Shop, however, it was taken back in March 2016.

I spent many weeks photographing 2 Short-Eared Owls that were wintering in an area near the city of Derby in England, either arriving before sunrise or an hour before sunset. The were totally fine with my presence. Usually shooting with the 500mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter attached I was able to get some close-ups, but also some great atmospheric shots when the Owls where at a distance. Of course, the sunrise and sunset colours always providing an incredible backdrop.

With this particular shot the Owl had spotted something on the ground and was just about to pounce. It did, but came back up empty!

I printed this photograph to put on display at last weekends International Algarve Fair and it looks amazing printed and mounted behind glass, so it is now available for purchase and of course, is this week’s featured print.

Click the photo to view in the shop


Desperate For Some Nature, So I Visited The Local Little Owl

The last 2 days have been early starts for 2 days of workshops and even though I’ve had a lot of fun, I was missing my dose of nature.

The late afternoon light was looking great so I paid the local Little Owl a visit, I made my way through some Esteva (Gum Rock Rose) and now I’m sitting here removing ticks! YUCK!

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Little Owl - Mocho-galego - Athene noctua
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