We’re at the end of part 3 and in fact nearing the end of this Snowy Owl series overall. The last couple of images were shot right before and after sunset and this is where especially the ‘older’ Nikon DSLRs were sometimes struggling to keep the right white balance while trying to make sense of the difficult light and colour-combo. Nikon gradually improved metering and color balance on its newer DSLRs (the D850 is sort of an ‘older new’ one) and continued to do so on its Z mirrorless series.
However, at the time I was using the D4S and fortunate enough to capture a couple of nice close-ups I also was the unlucky recipient of Nikon’s scrambled/garbled/defective color algorithms (Nikon apparently didn’t have white snowy owls against a golden sunset on a white background in their image repository… perhaps I can’t blame them for that). This means you somehow have to try and find the original color balance back by trying out a zillion small tweaks in Photoshop, which I did for the whole past week.
Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 @340mm on Nikon D4S, f/5.6, 1/2500 s., ISO 3200, +1.0EV exp. comp.
The other fact worth mentioning perhaps is the lens I used for this shot. At one point in time I got a little frustrated with the speed these creatures approach you (it’s all over in just a few seconds) and the very limited useful shooting distance with a fixed focal length prime lens like the 600mm, so I switched to my 200-500mm zoom to give it a try.
Now, the 200-500mm zoom is not actually considered by many to be a high-quality lens. And off course, compared to the 600mm, it is not. However, if you are lucky and manage to get a really good copy, which I think I did, you can actually capture some amazing shots with this incredibly versatile and yes, also very good quality zoom lens.
In the next and final part (4) of this series, we’re switching from sunset to a couple of crazy owl shots in the early evening which again I need to figure out how to process… Nikon did not make things easy for nature photographers, so bear with me for a little while.