Studio lit birds of prey portraits – revisiting old friends and a new subject

Today I returned to visit some old friends, and some photographers I knew as well ! Back in November last year  I spent a day photographing owls and an eagle in a large studio environment, and had such a productive time producing some fine art portraits of these birds that I had to return to both try some different views of the same subjects and also see if I couldn’t capture some new birds to add to my collection of images.

On arrival it was another rainy day, although not as bad as it had been last year – fortunately the weather cleared up and I didn’t even get wet making my way to the studio set-up where I was to spend the next few hours. Again I was treated to some expertly cared for and handled birds and was able to work angles and lighting to get the effects I was looking for. Now with experience I was looking for expression, and pleasing poses pushing a little harder to raise the quality knowing what I already had from my previous session.

Stand-out from this studio lit birds of prey this time was a White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) who flapped her mighty wings but also posed beautifully, and delivered what I think at the moment is the pick of the images from the day and certainly one I’ll be adding to my catalogue for sale. This image lit with a large soft-box as key light to the RHS (as seen in the eye), fill to the LHS also soft-box and a gridded “hair light” to illuminate the neck feathers from the side and rear and to provide some separation from the dark background.

Here is a sneaky peek of that image – which might still have a little bit of polishing to do on it before I finalise the image ready for printing.

Studio Lit Birds of Prey - White-headed vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis)

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