Sunrise at the Burrow

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I love when I can combine all of my favorite aspects of a wildlife portrait into one photo. It rarely happens but when it does I walk away with a huge grin on my face. The morning I spent scouting and photographing these Florida Burrowing Owls for the workshop I ran that same evening was just such an outing. When I saw this owl standing on top of its burrow I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I approached in the direction to put the sun behind the bird and when I was really far away I laid down on the ground and began to shoot. I have a few shots even farther away that I do like but this is one that I wanted to share. The elements that I like are the inclusion of a lot of habitat, of course backlight giving the bird that lovely glow as well as the grasses, and the fun bokeh at the top and some at the bottom from the distant trees and close grasses. All these elements come together to create a photo I'm really proud of capturing and sharing. For full disclosure I did remove the small wooden cross perch that was in the far right of the frame, I'm very happy the owl wasn't perched on it. I hope you like this photo as much as I do.

• Location: Cape Coral, Florida

• Date Taken: 2/2/2019

• Exposure: 1/1000 @ f/4

• ISO: 200 - auto

• Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

• Focal Length: 500mm

• Lens: Nikon 500mm f/4 VR

• Camera: Nikon D4s


Nature photography has become a very passionate hobby of mine and whenever I get a chance I love to get outside and enjoy being outdoors. I am also the co-owner of KGM Expressions, a wedding and portrait photography business, with my wife Kim. This is how we make our living and I love that we get to do that together.