Black-headed Gull, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 27 Sept 2013.

A still life?  Really?  Well, one way of looking at this is that, since the camera shutter was only open for 1/1600th of a second, it has effectively frozen this instant in the life and doings of this living being – and so it is “Life”, yes, but it is also “Still” – or, more correctly I suppose, “Stilled”!    And living things e.g. plants can of course be included in still life assemblages – if their movements are too slow to register in the resulting image.

But the real reason for my calling this a still life is that when I looked at the whole of this image and saw this powerfully down-sweeping wing, I was struck by its beauty, and so cropped the image to make it the main feature – with the bird’s head just peeping into the picture to add a little context.  So that, ok, it is a bird in flight, a moving object, but to me it has now become more of a design, or a set piece if you like. 

The fundamental difference between this image and a conventional still life is that it is not supported on anything that we can see, like a table top for example.  All support here is provided by the whirling and invisible air.

D800 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 400 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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.


  1. Wow, this is even more stunning. Thank you most sincerely, Adrian.


  2. bluebrightly says:

    Wow, I love this! Down to the essence. I like the grainy texture – it all works beautifully together.


  3. Meanderer says:

    A very unusual – but compelling – composition, Adrian. It looks like a pencil and pastel drawing; lovely.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      As always, any photo that doesn’t look like a photo has got something, I think – glad you agree – thank you, my friend! Have done an early morning trip to the Levels – and its worn me out! >>> getting older I think!!! 😦


  4. great crop!! So effective!!


  5. underswansea says:



  6. Helen Cherry says:

    OH yes this is very interesting Adrian.


  7. paula graham says:

    Stylish, different and most appealing..but not to wildlife camera club folk! , but to me..a winner.


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