The image of owls has always been both: good and bad. Since Harry Potter we know that owls are messengers. They deliver news of witches and wizards. In mythology and popular beliefs of different cultures, owls were considered demons or hoodoos. They were in close touch with the devil, had magical powers, or announced death. In any case, to protect the house and the yard, it could do no harm to nail them to barn doors alive, with their wings outspread. In the modern times of the Western world, the owl is above all a symbol of wisdom and sagacity. That was already the case with the Greeks, even with the Illuminati and even with Winnie the Pooh, who had as a friend the precocious owl. The biological capabilities of owls are extraordinary. The specially designed plumage lets them glide silently through the darkness. Their eyesight is sensational. Owls can turn their head up to 270°. They hear ten times better than humans. Owls owe their charisma not least their appearance. They are distinguished from other birds by the upright posture, their large, forward-looking eyes, their faces with beaks reminiscent of curved noses. These are human features.
Special charisma, distinctive personality and strong visual presence are the focus of our portrait series. The photo shootings were done at falconers, breeders, private owl holders, in a studio-like setting on location. We photographed 12 species.