STILL LIFE 178 – GULL

 

 

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Emerging warm and well fed from Hart’s Bakery, I gazed up into the blues of a cold dawn.  And there was the sliver of a crescent Moon, strikingly beautiful, amidst wisps of passing cloud.  And all at once the crowing of gulls, and there they came, drifting over high from the west.  I knew those calls, they were the larger Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, coming in ravenously over the city, looking for something – anything! – to eat.

The city’s noise was already starting up around me but up there, where they were flying, there were only the sounds of the wind and the birds.  I imagined what they could see. Below, the city’s lights, and then up above, the thin, drifting billows of vapour and that brilliant, shining crescent.

Fly well, my friends, go well – 60 years ago, I grew up beside your ancestors on the coast; their calls were my constant companions.  And now my city is your bread basket, and the cold waters of its reservoirs the safe havens upon which you spend the long hours of dangerous darkness.

And there was humour in the moment too.  A man appeared at my elbow, asking what I was photographing, telling me he’s a photographer too, showing me images on his mobile phone – but heavens, man, I’m trying to photograph the ******* heavens, man!!!  Phrases started passing through my mind … from days long ago, giving as good as I got as a rugby forward … give him a dead legkick him in the …. but, this is Life, and I can only smile now at the recollection of the moment.

The camera did well.  I was leaning back, braced against a high wall, but in that light the lens was wide open and, at x6 magnification and at a shutter speed only 1/75th – this image is a tribute to the X-T2’s image stabilisation.  The bird may not be perfectly sharp, but that’s not a factor here.  I could have used a higher ISO, but in the heat of the moment just went with it.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – certainly recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; beside Temple Meads Station, Bristol; 15 Dec 2107.
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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.

19 Responses to STILL LIFE 178 – GULL

  1. krikitarts says:

    I can so easily picture you emerging from the bakery and looking up to find this just waiting for you. I wonder, though, why you categorized this as a still life, as the gull is definitely not still but in full soar, doing what they do best. A real breath of fresh air.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Hahaha!!! STAGGERING heavily from the bakery!!! This Still Life category of mine contains a multitude of things, which only loosely relate to the category’s name. In many instances, I suppose they are scenes that I feel “arty” about, irrespective of whether they are perfectly still or not – and then there’s the argument that the speed of the camera’s shutter stills them 😉 So rather than post this in the Birds category, the Moon and the clouds are important elements here too, and so to SL.

      A question for you, my veterinary friend. People I know have bought a puppy of an Alsatian-sized dog, which is increasing in size vastly now. But they hardly if at all take the dog for walks, its 99% in their house: am I right in thinking that this is cruel, and that it may well lead to the dog getting mental health problems? A 🙂

      Like

      • krikitarts says:

        It’s a very good question, and cause for very real concern. The amount of exercise dogs need varies greatly with breed—working and sporting dogs need much more than sedate, typically-lie-around-and-take-it-easy types. Having said that, all puppies need good and regular exercise to help with strong and healthy bone growth and structure. The bigger ones, of course, need considerably more space to get that exercise. A growing dog of Alsatian stature is likely to be healthy and happy with frequent opportunities to run, jump, and play. If its people can’t fit that into their life style, it would be far better off with someone who could. Also, any dog should have responsible companion-dog training, as they absolutely need to know exactly what is expected of them—and that they can act accordingly. An untrained dog that won’t reliably come when you call him or stay where you tell him to is a real shame.

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        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Gary, thank you for this information, disquieting as it is. The situation with this dog is troubling me a lot. I don’t have an especial love of dogs (although I do for cats), but I can feel the injustice and wanton (probably conscious) cruelty in this case – I think your words ” If its people can’t fit that into their life style, it would be far better off with someone who could.” say it all. Thank you again, my friend. I hope all is panning out well in NZ. A 🙂

          Like

  2. bluebrightly says:

    I just saw a lovely crescent moon about an hour ago and thought about people and friends around the world, seeing the same moon, how nice. Your image is so lovely, and the story – well, it coudln’t be better! It personifies the love I know you feel for avian life. The lines highlighted in blue should be printed and framed, beneath a print of the photo. Very moving.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I’ve done the same thing looking at a moon, thinking of others that might be looking at it – I spent a lot of time, in my younger years, living far away from girlfriends. I’m so very happy that you like the lines highlighted in blue, yes they do very much reflect how I felt/feel about gulls – and many other birds too. Thank you, Lynn. A 🙂

      Like

  3. That’s a wonderful post

    Like

  4. Lovely photo, very nice color of the sky and beautiful crescent moon. I chuckled about the familiar “what are you photographing” fellow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Ellen, thank you for your good words, I’m happy that you like this. I don’t know if it comes through in my words, but this sort of subject gets through to me deeply. Adrian 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Adrian, that you are moved does come through! The connection to your childhood especially struck me. And that we are so small beneath that moon and gull.

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        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Ellen, its good to talk to you. As I get older, I find that I experience more and more connections to my past, which I value. And yes, we are so small beneath that moon and gull. Having found my first fossil at the age of 5 or so, I worked as a geologist, which is a discipline that really gives one a sense of our place in the grand scale of things. Adrian 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. paula graham says:

    Yea, I know the heat of the moment muddles…but you got a way with it so nicely. Love the photo you found.

    Liked by 1 person

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