Herring Gull; St Ives, Cornwall; 27 Sept 2012.

As in my previous post, this is an image produced with an eye to composition, to design maybe, rather than picturing this creature in terms of its natural history – when it might be shown in full and/or in its natural habitat.

The bird is shown in detail, dirty beak, “warts and all”.  But the backdrop is Minimal in the extreme, containing only that very faint, dark smudge, which is deliberately retained.

Otherwise, there is just a very thin dark frame to the image – containing it as an entity, closing it off – and the bird peering in from top left.

Looking at this, I could see a severed and suspended head but, liking a story with a happy ending, I’m assuming that “the remainder of the beast” is out to the left.

D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 800 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. bluebrightly says:

    I love it. Not every good bird picture should be all about the field marks or the habitat, etc. Our area is hosting a Black-headed Gull these days and everyone is excited. I have to admit I’m really, really not the birder I once was, because I don’t care to drive over there to stand in the cold and sort through a flock of gulls in a field for the one with red legs. ‘Cause he doesn’t have his nice breeding plumage black head, of course.

    I’m more tempted to go where the houseboats are in Seattle and try to find the Great egret that’s been over there. They don’t normally come this far north. In New York you could always see them, and down the east coast, more and more as you travel south. I have pleasant associations with them – island vacations, etc. Anyway, they’re so pretty. But they’re not the rarity that the Black-headed gull is. And I will probably miss both!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      No, I’m not into standing around looking for rare birds anymore either – haha! I remember so many disappointments when the rarities couldn’t be found! 😦 Black-headed Gulls (that actually have dark brown heads when breeding) are one of the commonest gulls here, and they often dive, screaming, into our garden for food scraps – they are very agile and aerobatic, almost like terns, and quite unlike the larger and heavier Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Thanks for your thoughts, my friend! 🙂


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Re Black-headed Gulls, have a look at my Birds 80 post – its for you! 🙂


  2. fantastic!! A fierce dinosaur eye!


  3. Meanderer says:

    Always interesting to see an unusual composition! He’s looking for those chips 🙂


  4. krikitarts says:

    I like your choice to leave the extra space at the right and below the bill. It’s as if the gull is searching hopefully for something that might be just out of reach–but hasn’t quite appeared yet.


  5. paula graham says:

    The thinking gull!! Very good and different shot.


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