Week Three: Silly Burrowing Owl Videos

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In my last post about the Burrowing Owls I wrote that my still shots do not best represent the antics of the owlets.  The stills capture expressions pretty well, but to really explain how it is that I can sit watching these birds for hours on end, I need video.  Luckily my DSLR has video, when I remember to use it!

Now do you understand how I can nest-watch for so long?  The owlets are so cute when they bob their heads!

The weather cooperated with me on this particular week.  The sun sets immediately behind this nest, making it a great morning shoot, but a terrible afternoon place.  Except when it rains for weeks on end and the cloudcover allows me to photograph the nest after work!  So while Rich played hockey, I went to check on my owls.  :)

The little guys looked pretty scruffy after rain showers.

Burrowing Owl Yawn after Rain
Burrowing Owl Yawn after Rain

I’ve done some experimentation with time lapse photography lately, and I thought the owls would make fun subjects.  Some of the best time lapse videos I’ve seen are of people moving around in cool places.  Well, why not owls moving around at their burrow?  They usually come in and out pretty frequently, and they are certainly very animated.  Except on the day that I took my intervalometer after a rainstorm and only two of the owlets cooperated for me!

I learned an important lesson doing this time lapse project.  Use manual mode on your camera!  I had mine set to AE mode, where I set the f-stop and the camera determined the shutter time.  My resulting images ranged from anywhere from 1/160th of a second to 1/80th of a second.  When I combined the images into a timelapse using LRTimelapse, my resulting video had horrible flickering because of the varying brightness in the images.  I redid the video several times, and ultimately removed a bunch of frames to smooth out the brightness.  The final video isn’t what I envisioned at all, but it’s an inspiration to try again next year!

"Two" Cute for Words!
“Two” Cute for Words!

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