The background of any wildlife photo is very important for me. Sometimes I want to make my subject “pop” against a clean background, and sometimes I want the background to complement the subject – as in giving context as to which environment it lives in, perhaps how camouflaged it is or else simply as a tool for artistical composition or setting of the mood.
This photo was taken in the Spiny Forest in Madagascar, around Berenty in the far south of the island. I was enchanted by this unique and bizarre ecosystem, I almost felt like I had just stepped on another planet! I was really hoping to find some animal to photograph in the weird and spiny vegetation, so I was thrilled to find this Madagascar Scops Owl perched right amongst some spines. I have a soft spot for owls and I was excited about photographing it in such an unusual setting which also shows off its superb camouflage.
Since the owl was napping and relaxed I had time to actually set up my camera and lens on a tripod – it was not often that I found such a situation allowing for such a ceremonious approach in Madagascar! I also used an off camera flash mounted on an HFB – Human Flash Bracket. Just a fancy name bestowed upon my ever-suffering partner by some other photographers.
Techs: Canon 7D | Canon 300 2.8 IS II | f/3.2 | 1/160 | ISO 200 | -2/3 EV | Canon Speedlite 600 EX-RT (off camera)