One of my winter photography highlights is photographing Short-eared Owls hunting over fields at the Samish Flats in Northwest Washington. It’s always a challenge to photograph these birds. They move quickly and are normally out when the light is poor. So you need a fast shutter speed to freeze the action which means cranking up your camera’s ISO setting when photographing the birds in late afternoon or dusky light. This results in noisy photos that are grainy and not very sharp.
The photos here are from my first shoot of the year with the owls in November. The fields in Northwest Washington (Near Bow) where I normally find the owls were flooded by heavy rain and snow last year and I only found the owls once. It was great to find them back there this year!
To try and deal with the high ISO (and resulting noise/grain) that I had to shoot the photos with I tried some new software, Topaz’s Photo AI, to process the photos. Photo AI did a great job of removing much of the noise from the photos. I highly recommend giving the software a try for processing photos that you shoot in low light.