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Barn Owls for Branding!

I love all sorts of photography but what I like most about branding shoots is the opportunity it gives you to tell a story about a business or organisation in beautiful pictures. What, therefore, could I say to the invite from Jenny at Ash Rescue Centre to try to photograph a pair of young barn owls to add the ASH rebranding exercise. I have already captured some great images of some of the ex-racehorses ASH takes care of, galloping through the lovely wildflower meadows, that really illustrate the harmony of animal welfare and sustainability that is the essence of the ASH organisation, so I was delighted to continue to support Jenny and her amazing team.

Looking at the weather forecast we agreed on an evening that looked like the sun might make an appearance, not that common during the summer of 2023 let’s be honest! We started the shoot with a handful of portraits of Jenny herself. Despite her reticence, Jenny recognises that it is important for your target audience to relate to the people involved in an organisation and having a bank of professionally taken photographs of you in the environment that you work in instantly increases engagement as well as building trust and confidence in what you are doing.

We then moved into the meadow near the small outbuilding where a pair of barn owls had built their nest earlier in the year. Whilst the parents had moved on, their two young were thriving and learning to hunt for themselves in the amazing natural environment that ASH has created. As the sun began to set, I was very glad that I had my Nikon Z6 Mark ii with its superior low-light capability paired with the NIKKOR 100-400mm telescopic lens. Having the best equipment, whilst a major investment, means that I can be confident that I can work in every situation; especially important when you are trying to photograph fast moving subjects in challenging light.

After a twenty-minute wait sitting quietly in the long grass, a white face appeared in a gap in the outbuilding before gradually emerging to survey the meadow. Watching this beautiful bird take flight for the first time was an experience I will never forget. Whilst incredibly cute when standing on its almost comically small legs, these owls are incredibly majestic in flight and it was soon swooping across the meadow. Capturing anything decent at these distances would have been impossible with a basic camera or smartphone and was still demanding with my setup but I got shooting in burst mode and a high shutter speed for those that are interested in the technical stuff.

The first owl then returned to its roost to be joined by its sibling. The interaction of the two of them was really heart rending and made for some great photos. Watching these amazing creatures in the beautiful natural environment that Jenny has created on a lovely summer’s evening was simply magical and after an hour or two shooting I was sure that I had enough material to take back for editing. Having the best processing software meant that I could ensure that the resulting photographs are sufficiently high quality for use for all digital or print future requirements that ASH may have.

What a fantastic evening’s work!

Keep an eye out for the ASH new branding on their website Ash Rescue Centre

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