BIRDS 49 – PORTRAIT OF A GULL (MONO) – AND A SIMPLE TIP

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Herring Gull at St Ives; 10 Oct 2013.

The uncontrived, natural beauty of a living creature.  Gulls often get a bad press – which I can never agree with.  For me all of that negative hype can’t detract from the sheer delight at looking at this individual.  I hope you share this delight.

I value the shadows under the feathers on the creature’s back.  I think they look good, and they give a more 3D effect.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s Faux Infrared preset.

A SIMPLE TIP

I’m having further ideas about the posts that I’ve been putting out with simple tips for beginners in photography.  Well, here’s a case in point.  This is a portrait, and the gull is the subject.  Because I want to look at the subject closely, without any other distractions, I have the subject large and sharp in the frame, and the background purely peripheral, dark, and lacking in any detail.  Using the long telephoto lens close in has thrown the background out of focus.  Any discernible details in that background – and especially in focus ones – would immediately lure our eyes away from the gull, and so spoil the photo’s purpose.

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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

33 Responses to BIRDS 49 – PORTRAIT OF A GULL (MONO) – AND A SIMPLE TIP

  1. This is a wonderful portrait. His eye makes the whole bird look serious and downright sentient! 🙂

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  2. Meanderer says:

    That eye is captivating. Super shot!

    By the way, I’m having the ‘likes’ issue now and have posted on the forums. I have email notifications of likes but they don’t all appear on the blog. I think it is quite widespread. I’ve noticed other bloggers with the same problem.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thanks, M! WordPress have their problems, don’t they? Do you ever find that WP can run very slowly, that while other websites spring up into view in the browser, that WP can be very slow, and can freeze? A

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      • Meanderer says:

        That happens sometimes but not very often. I don’t have many problems with WP but sometimes a blog can cause my laptop to crash. It’s usually sites which have special fonts, decorative backgrounds, or huge images.

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  3. The shadows, yes, but the eye! Oh man!
    Thanks for the tip, Adrian. xxx

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      The tip – my pleasure, hope its helpful! Saw you breaking new ground on Freshly Pressed this morning – did I see sprouts??? Didn’t you tell me you hate sprouts? Will look at that in more detail later.

      Oh yes, that eye – these are what ATPers would call “mean critters”!

      Hope you’re fine, Gem! I see that weather in the USA is getting a bit less cold – its getting a bit better for us here too. Am just about to go to town, to visit a favourite café and a big bookshop. A xxx 🙂

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      • Bookstore and cafe. Two of my favorite words!

        I’m glad to hear that you’re weather’s getting less scary as well. It’s still cold but way way better than 4 degrees F. Phew!

        Breaking new ground on Freshly Pressed? I don’t know what that means.
        ???

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        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Bookstore and café – two of your favourite … ?? We are SOULMATES!!! 🙂

          Explanation – when anyone posts posts on WordPress – posts that can be pigeonholed into some category or other eg photography, they appear in a section of WordPress called Freshly Pressed. Top left of this page, left of your blog’s name, is a W in a circle – click onto this, and you’ll see a drop down menu with Freshly Pressed on it – in which will appear your new posts – make a post and go and have a look!

          I look down through Freshly Pressed, looking at other people’s images, usually in the early morning – and any images I Like (ie I’ve pressed the Like button) appear in the “IMAGES I’VE LIKED RECENTLY” – see over on the right here in my blog’s sidebar —->>>>>

          I said you were breaking new ground because of your post on cooking – and especially the sprouts!!! 🙂 A xxx 🙂

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      • Oh and sprouts. Apparently it was in my head! Jeff made some mean, good sprouts!

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  4. krikitarts says:

    However one may feel about gulls in general, one thing that I believe everyone would agree on is that they are admirably graceful and agile in flight. And the ecosystem would surely be a pretty sad and sorry place without such accomplished and efficient scavengers.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Spot on, Squire, spot on!

      (FATman Auto Translation Service (FATS) (Free Trial): “Yes, the points that you have made above are entirely correct and valid, Sir, and we thank you!”)

      Like

  5. Malin H says:

    Your bird portraits are so special!
    You really capture the expression in the eyes.
    Very good and personal portrait.

    Like

  6. hmmm…they do have ‘dead eyes’ though…an excellent photo nonetheless

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  7. It’s the same with pigeons, that are beautiful birds with their coloured sequins, but of course they are just seen as rats with wings.

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  8. That’s quite a compelling portrait. I feel about pigeons the way you do about gulls.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thanks, Ashley, glad it hits you! And there are two of you raising similar affections for pigeons – I know just what you mean, and I love having them around too. But even birders – and I used to be one – are very ambivalent about them, not really seeing them as “real” birds at all – when we were compiling data on birds in Kenya, we found that there was very little info on pigeons as few birders recorded any – whereas for the other 1,000+ species there was oodles. Adrian

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