Saturday, January 7, 2012

The most captivating owl of the bunch

   Meet the Eurasian eagle owl. He's large, he's in charge, and he has 1,001 different expressions... Most of which look charmingly disapproving. It's the look that says, "Don't even think about messing with me."
   Owls are remarkably patient, and when Joni and I started photographing this guy we began to feel foolish... after over a minute, no motion. The joke's on us: we were photographing a taxidermy specimen, right?! Then suddenly, his head turned, which surprised us. We had ourselves convinced that he must be stuffed.
   These are how I KNOW that Archimedes in Disney's "The Sword and the Stone" was modeled after a Eurasian eagle owl:
Despite the vigorous shake, his legs are perfectly still & in focus. Amazing strength and steadiness in those talons! I'd hate to be his prey!
"Good day, sir." (Pause) "I said GOOD DAY, SIR!"
   Actually, Disney is famous for bringing live animals into the studios for the animators to observe and draw from life, to make their characters more authentic. Like this classic image of Frank Thomas with a deer: