Name: Cody Spencer
Description: “Early morning on Nov. 9, 2012, my cousin Jane and I arrived at Salisbury Beach State Park to do some owl hunting. We were greeted there by a whole bunch of our photography friends from the area, and some of the first words out of their mouths were, “There are no owls around today.” With owls being my favorite bird, that wasn’t something I wanted to hear. ... I ventured away from the group and headed toward the bit of woods at the north part of the state park, which is what we call ‘the owl grove.’ I walked in about 50 feet and looked to the left, into a medium-sized pine, to see what I thought was just a small clump of leaves until I took a look through my viewfinder. I was amazed to see it was a little saw-whet owl!
“I’m 17 years old and quickly approaching the standards of serious amateur photography. My whole life, I have always enjoyed the outdoors, but within the last three years, I have really gotten into birding and photography.”
Camera info: 1/800, ISO 800, 390 mm, f/5.6
PHOTO STAFF CRITIQUE
“The photographer definitely got in close to get this nice shot. Cody captured the owl in its environment, which is softened just enough to not overwhelm the bird.
“Angles make this photo more than a tight telephoto shot of an owl. The diagonal angle of the owl’s eyes, the angle of the wing and the angles of the branches all contribute to tension in the photo.”