This is the incredible moment when photographer Anas Trépanier went into the woods with the intention of taking unforgettable images.
Instead, she became the subject of one when a giant grey owl plunged down and perched right on her camera.
Trépanier had gone on a photo trip to the Côte-de-Beaupré region north of Quebec City, Canada, with fellow photographer Thomas Pham-Van and other photographer colleagues.
She claims she saw the huge grey owl resting on a fence and stopped to snap some shots when it suddenly swooped up to her.
“I was clicking on the shutter and seconds after, I see it land on my lens,” she told CBC Breakaway. “It’s the biggest owl we have here in Quebec. It’s not like a chickadee.”
Trépanier says the owl sat on her camera for around 30 seconds, and she recalls standing as still as she could while her friends warned her not to move as they took a series of shots.
“The owl took off and flew straight ahead and then made a loop to come back, heading towards Anaïs,” Pham-Van says.
“I was already amazed to see this magnificent bird and have the privilege of capturing it in flight, but I was so surprised to see it perched on the camera lens.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had a quick look and then started taking pictures again. A friend who was with us was yelling at Anaïs not to move, I had the shivers.”
The owl stayed perched on her lens for around 30 seconds before flying away, which Trépanier described as a bittersweet moment.
“She remained very calm. Probably a little nervous but who wouldn’t be with this type of bird so close to her face,” Pham-Van says.
“It is a wild animal so we didn’t know how it would react if Anais had to move. She says she kept an eye on the owl’s talons to protect her hands.
Everything happened quite quickly, and I don’t think she has time to think too much about her photographic equipment.”