Herring Gull on the harbour wall at New Quay, Ceredigion, west Wales; 23 September 2014.

Once again, my love for these “rats with wings”, whose anarchy, opportunism and sheer being good at what they do upsets our ordered little seaside – and now urban – worlds.

And a delicate beauty here perhaps, but that hard eye has you in its gaze and this is no time to let your guard down by drifting off into sentiment and aesthetics.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Plate II preset.




About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. bluebrightly says:

    It’s almost a portrait of contradictions – the softness of the plumage vs. those eyes and that beak. I know Herring gulls well and I think there’s no reason not to admire them. 🙂 You’ve made another great bird portrait.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I like that thought of contradictions, its very true. In Kenya, I used to tell safari clients that if function is beauty – ie if a creature being good at something made it beautiful – then the Spotted Hyaena is truly beautiful. What a good thought for a Sunday! 🙂 🙂 🙂


  2. Great, love the atmosphere and soft tones


  3. krikitarts says:

    That’s really a superb portrait, Adrian. It’s much more mysterious and subtle when you leave more to the imagination. I like that you left left the darker portions in the grey zone rather than bringing them out. Great SEP work!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thanks, Gary >>> LOL! SEP rules ok!!! Yes, the picture is really the beak and the eye, and the greys on the back, with all else a faint, blurry impression – as you say, more mysterious. Adrian 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jane Lurie says:

    Love this shot, Adrian. You’ve elevated the status of this bird beautifully. 🙂


  5. oneowner says:

    This is an absolutely stunning photo, A.


  6. David says:

    Amazing image! Animal portraits depend as much on the subject as on the viewer, we give ourselves a greater degree of permission to read into the subject. I love this one!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you very much, David, I’m so glad you like this. Two other things to say, really. First, I grew up alongside gulls in a seaside town, they were always around, and I have always had a great fondness for them – and when I got my first job, which was well inland, it was very strange to be somewhere “gull-less”!

      Second, I agree completely with your thoughts on the subject and the viewer in animal portraits, and rather than a record shot of whatever it may be, I try to get in close for a deeper look. Thank you again. Adrian 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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