How to Shoot Professional Owl Photography

There are many ways to capture a great owl picture but none as important as knowing your subject. This article is here to teach you how to shoot an excellent owl photograph. Know your owl If you want to achieve good owl photography you need to spend time studying owls and understanding their behaviors.

Learn about owls

The first thing to learn about owls is their diet, and what foods they prefer. Owl species feed mainly on insects and other invertebrates. If you have a great horned owl then you can bet that they will feed on voles, mice, frogs, bats, grasshoppers, scorpions, centipedes and butterflies. If you have a snowy owl you can expect to find them on small rodents like mice and voles, hares, moths, and beetles. Some owl species will also eat frogs, snakes and fish.

What type of owl are you photographing?

If your owl is a bird of prey then it probably has a long beak and claws. If you are photographing an eagle owl then you will see them flying around catching their prey. They will have an unkempt appearance and be covered in feathers. They have a habit of flying around and swooping down on their prey in a spectacular way. These owls have very short wings so they must flap quickly if they are to get airborne. They can weigh as much as 6 kg (13 lbs).

What time of day does your owl hunt?

During the day, they often hunt from dawn to dusk, though this depends on the owl species. If you are shooting at night then you will need a tripod or other camera support because you won’t be able to use your flash. When you are photographing an owl during the day it will probably hunt near its nest. Owls are territorial and you should only photograph them in their home range. This means that you have to know where they live.

Where do owls hunt?

You should choose an owl photo location with plenty of light and a good vantage point to watch owls hunting. The best places to shoot an owl are on rocky ledges, open areas with lots of cover, or forest edges. You should avoid wooded areas because owls can be frightened by human activity, especially if you are disturbing their nesting sites. Shoot from a distance Most owls are shy animals and if you approach them they may run away and not pose for you. You need to get as close as you can without scaring your subject. When you are shooting a bird of prey then you will need to be very careful. If you are too close you could get hurt or even killed. You also need to have the right equipment to help you take a good shot. Equipment for owl photography There are many different ways of capturing a great owl photo. We have selected the best for you to use in this article.


Tripod and flash

You need a steady tripod and a powerful flash unit that is designed for wildlife photography. The flash will help the owl stand out in the photograph. A flash can be expensive but you can save money by buying a flash that is designed for wildlife photography. If you want to buy a flash, you will probably be able to find one online at a discount.


If you are shooting from a distance then you will need a sturdy camera with a fast shutter speed and good low light performance. A tripod and a camera lens that has a long focal length (200 mm or more) will help you get the best shots. The camera should also have a macro mode and an autofocus system to ensure that the picture is sharp.


You need to be able to set the correct exposure for your subject so that you get the right level of light in the picture. You will need a powerful flash that is capable of getting light on your owl, even at night. There are flashguns that are designed for wildlife photography and these will give better results than those you can buy for general photography. They are also more expensive.

Get creative.

If you are trying to shoot owl photography for the first time, we suggest you start small, perhaps with the owlets or owls that you are close to. Try taking photos from an elevated position like a tree stump or building ledge. Or go for a short drive to your local park, wood or river. Don’t worry too much about lighting or composition until you have mastered the basics.

Consider the birds’ movements.

Owls move in a zigzag motion, which can be difficult to capture in photography. If the light is not ideal for photography, try using a long lens. You can also try shooting at dusk or dawn when they hunt. This will give you plenty of movement in your photos. Know what makes the birds nervous. Some owls have special spots on their feet that cause them to shake their paws and this can be used for photography. However, most owls react nervously to sudden movements. Avoid making sudden movements in front of them. This could scare them and make them fly away.

Try to capture them hunting.

Owls are excellent at hunting nocturnal animals, so if you have a suitable owl box nearby you may be able to catch one hunting. If not, get up early and walk around your garden looking for signs of prey, such as mouse droppings. When you do spot an owl, give it a wide berth and don’t frighten it away by making any noise. Make sure your camera is well-shielded from the wind. If you have the chance to photograph an owl while it’s hunting, you will be able to get some great shots.

Stay calm.

Most owls are more relaxed in daylight, when they tend to hunt at night. It can be difficult to photograph them in bright light, because they can get confused by reflections. Try using a softbox to diffuse the light or use a flashgun with a diffuser.

Shoot as many pictures as you need.

There is no limit on the number of photos you can take. Just remember that your images will not be as sharp as if you had used a tripod and a flashgun, but you will have more options for composition and lighting. Keep a small notebook handy so you can write down your ideas and try to make notes of any lessons you learn along the way. You may also find it helpful to talk to others who are shooting owl photography for the first time.


Photographing owls can be time-consuming, especially if you are taking photos in the wild. So, before you go out on a hunt, spend a few days practicing at home. Make sure your camera is properly set up. Choose a good quality lens and shutter speed. Then choose a suitable spot indoors or in a nearby garden. Practice taking shots until you feel confident with your settings and know that you will be able to capture the owl you want. If you decide that you’re ready for the outdoors, try shooting some practice shots to make sure you are comfortable with the equipment you will be using.

Owl Photography Ideas

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This article has given you a little insight into how to shoot owl photography. I hope you found it useful.

The great thing about shooting owls is that you don’t need to be an expert to get amazing shots. This is because owls are beautiful, they have a unique look, and their eyes are always wide open.

I’m sure you’ve seen some incredible shots of owls before. Some of them are really well-done. Others are not. And I know which ones I prefer.

But I also know that you can get really good images of owls without spending a lot of money or taking a lot of time. It’s all about knowing what to look for and having the patience to wait for the right moment.

And if you follow my advice, you can learn to take some really nice pictures of owls. You can also learn a lot about how to get started with photography.