I’m almost still in shock and awe, just like I was when my name was the final one announced, as the winner of the Excellence Award at the Warwick Center for the Arts Nature’s Gifts Juried Photography Show! To photograph owls takes an incredible about of determination, patience and ability to withstand a lot of dissapointment and the cold while waiting to possibly spot an owl.
The juror, Jan Armor’s kind and humbling words about my photograph were: “I am in awe of this perfect image of a spectacular creature with wings spread wide. It is a lovely vision, so rare, so beautiful and so technically difficult to capture. This photograph took my breath away.”
I first started photographing owls in 2013 when the massive eruption of Snowy Owls began appearing all over the United States, with plenty of Arctic visitors in Rhode Island. My first few trips out, trekking though the snow for hours at the crack of dawn, was finally rewarded one morning when I saw my first juvenile snowy owl perched on some rocks by the ocean. I was in awe of this beautiful creature and became owl obsessed. Investing in a Sigma 150-500mm lens to capture wildlife, I went out many times (sometimes unsuccessful) to try to capture these rare visitors. Pretty soon I was visiting almost daily and photographing tons of Snowys when rumors of an even rarer Barn Owl began to surface. The Barn Owl was apparently in a territory battle with the Snowy, and one sadly fell victim to the larger owl. It wasn’t until the year after, when a few Snowys returned, that I managed this image. I had heard of the Barn Owls return and spent the day waiting. Frozen and defeated, I got in my car and left. I decided to take a nearby backroad detour, and wooosh! Across the road mere feet from me flew my Barn Owl (lovingly nicknamed “Barney”). I pulled over in a ditch and in complete solitude and amazement watched as the owl fluttered and hovered, as it hunted its dinner. Frozen and enthralled I watched until dark, and thanked the Barn Owl for making it’s marvelous appearance to me. The Barn Owls are Nature’s Gifts in all their glory!
On another note, someone called me “The Owl Lady”, a title I’m completely not opposed to and probably was not the first or last time I’ll be called that! You can probably see my Barn Owl ring in this picture above!
Thank you so much to my bestie and photographer in training Kim, and my Mom for coming out on this amazing night and supporting all of my crazy ideas!
Let’s get out and see some owls!
Alicia (aka “The Owl Lady”!)
You can buy your owl print of “Barn Owl Flight” in my Etsy shop!