Black-headed Gull, Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 4 July 2016.

The year is changing.  Black-headed Gulls do not breed around Bristol and so, in spring, this normally common and noisy scavenger mostly disappears to its breeding grounds elsewhere in the UK.  But around now, in what we Brits loosely term “summer”, breeding plumage birds (with dark BROWN heads NB) start to reappear.  I’m glad to hear their shrill screams again and see their graceful, almost tern-like flight – and I know that their reappearance means that the year is moving on, if only a little.

I took the X-T1 down to Chew Lake to shoot birds in flight, but with little success.  This may of course have been due to my inexperience with this camera, but the electronic viewfinder just couldn’t seem to cope with the close in, high speed, frenzied action, whereas the Nikons’ optical viewfinders are far more up to it.  I don’t think that the X-T1 has been designed with this sort of photography in mind, but that’s fine because its so good at so many other things.  The X-T2, when it arrives, may be better at this kind of thing.

This is a still life image, a moving object made still by a camera shutter firing at 1/1600th of a second.   In the real world, this bird is flying.  But in the world of the imagination, this creature could … with its wings straining skywards above its fully spread tail … it could be dancing, or perhaps even jumping for joy.  It is just a question of how we want to see things.  The first of these flying still lifes can be found here.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Film Noir 1 preset.

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. This is absolutely wonderful, Adrian. Bravo! Just love it.


  2. paula graham says:

    Yea, not your everyday shot of a gull, and therefore so much more interesting, I like it lots!!


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