Look closer, may not be as good as you think!
At first glance, the image above can look pretty good – but take a closer look at the face, it’s out of focus. So, did I not achieve a good focus lock on the image? Not exactly.
Take a look at the annotated close-up below. I had a great focus lock – but I slipped the focus from the owl’s face to his mid-section. Yes, it can be hard, especially with a bird in flight – but this demonstrates how important it is to keep your focal point on the head/eyes. The closer the bird and longer the lens means it’s even more critical as your depth of field becomes smaller yet.
Sure, you can try shooting at a higher f/stop, but that will have less impact the closer your subject is. Get the focus on the eyes, and the focus that drops off behind the head will not matter so much. Capture the eyes, and you've captured the image.
Stay in focus,