Seeing is wise. Seeing is changing.

~ by Manish Lakhani

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Shot by SEL400F28GM lens

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Seeing like the kings of the night

When you get to observing, understanding and filming the lives of owls, science, technology, and dexterity, all factor in to describe the illustrious qualities of this mystic bird. Now, what could possibly meet them eye to eye or be adept enough at capturing and representing the singular allure of the hidden lives of owls?

For instance, their yellow, forward-facing eyes are tubular and so large that their eye sockets are immovable. A human could roll eyes, but owls cannot. However, they’re still capable of 270°-vision with their heads rotating and bobbing up and down to judge distance.

Now, to match up to their skills, a highly advanced camera, such as the Sony Alpha Full-Frame Mirrorless A7RIII, paired with the extraordinary speed and outstanding resolution of the innovative G Master F2.8 Super Telephoto SEL400F28GM Lens did it for me with this shot.

In clicking this beautiful raptor staring back at me, the SEL400F28GM did match up with its enhanced subject tracking, flexibility, and efficacy. For a brilliant focus on my subject, the stunning G Master resolution and bokeh worked beautifully. Just like an owl’s large eyes, with their large surface area, aid in collecting more light, this SEL400F28GM’s two new motors and newly developed algorithms quietly drive its large-focus lens group faster and more precisely than ever before required. It’s essentially what’s required to capture wildlife subjects.

When silence matters to your muse

Ever heard the sound of a pin drop in complete silence. An owl probably can. In fact, a great grey owl sitting on a fence 60 feet away can locate a mole running in a tunnel under 18 inches of snow!

With such a hearing power, its one tough task to approach them close and capture them without disturbing these nocturnes out of their zen zones. When owls can literally lay claim to their preys blindfolded, you need a tool that can maintain utmost silence when trying intimacy with owls.

For their love for privacy, anything could turn out to be an intrusion, which is why I paired up the A7RIII with SEL400F28GM. The A7RIII’s strong, light, reliable design takes you further with rich gradations even in complete silent mode and provides a natural, high-precision electronic viewfinder. Complementing your adventure, the remarkably lightweight ‒ just 2.895 grams ‒ SEL400F28GM adds to your adventure with portability, and handheld shooting freedom that’s outstanding. It gifts you the ideal balance for agility and ease of operation even on a monopod.

An owl’s focus shortcuts

As much as the eyes matter for an owl, so do their ears. Amazingly, they hunt mainly by sound. Those “ears” you see on the top of the owl’s head in this picture are ear tufts instead, and they have nothing to do with hearing.

Just as a lens collects light, the facial discs made of several kinds of specialized feathers surrounding an owl’s face collect sound around their heads. These facial feathers disperse sound to their ears, which are placed asymmetrically; one higher than the other is, so that the sound reaches each ear at different times.

With those eyes, facial discs, and asymmetrical ears, what’s great is that there are multiple ways for an owl to customize the way it hunts, locating its prey in three-dimensions! All of it works just like the many shortcuts of SEL400F28GM. The full-time DMF (Direct Manual Focus) allows manual focus to be engaged simply by rotating the focus ring, even while shooting in AF-C mode.

The SEL400F28GM too hunts for its muse applying multiple shortcuts, including built-in optical image stabilisation that makes framing easier, while the four-focus hold button and a focus ring with Linear Response MF further enhances versatility. This makes accurate shift of focus, even while the subject is in move.

Forward facing eyes: Being awake to the world

Capturing the characteristic “owl-face”, I’ve realized that humans need to put an end to the tendency to project human qualities, thoughts and feelings onto other animal species, and exercise individualism. It’s what true seeing means. It’s what change means. It’s how a wise being is. This pairing of Sony lens and camera captured the true potential of this mystic bird, and gave me a perspective of seeing the subject for who they really are.

About Manish Lakhani

Manish is a versatile photographer with an excellent history of creating brilliant images of culture, heritage and landscapes. For several years now, he has been photographing the cultural heritage of India that includes the shepherds of Himalayan... Read more

ILCE-7RM3

Sony Alpha 7R III Full-frame Mirrorless camera- Made for professionals.

SEL400F28GM

Premium G Master series large-aperture super telephoto lens.

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