ARCHIVE 615 – HERRING GULL (MONO + COLOUR)

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Adult Herring Gull in the harbour at St Ives, Cornwall;  24 Apr 2012.

Rather than having the backdrop completely black, I’ve restored just a little of the sky’s blue.  I’d thought of a total colour restoration but, with the bright red and yellow bill,  the results were garish to say the least.

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

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; conversion to mono and partial colour restoration in Silver Efex Pro 2.

ARCHIVE 606 – IMMATURE GULLS (MONO)

 

 


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Immature gulls, one of the larger species, probably Herrings or Lesser Black-backeds.

This picture is a mystery and, looking at my records, its been so for a long time.  I have no idea when or where it was taken, or with which camera – but here are these beauties anyway!

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

Technique: processed in Silver Efex Pro, starting at the High Key 2 preset, and toned.
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ARCHIVE 594 – STILL LIFE, IN FLIGHT

 

 


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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.

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

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

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OUTER SUBURBS 302 – DAWN

 

 


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As Dylan Thomas (certainly inspirational, certainly a hero) put it: the dawn inches up …

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day. 

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

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 8 Dec 2020.
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ARCHIVE 590 – HERRING GULL

 

 


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Adult Herring Gull, Porthleven, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.

A big, meaty bird, a bird to be taken seriously – and particularly so if its trying to steal your lunch!  The dark streaking shows it to be in winter plumage.

Looking at this now, in 2020, I wonder how I might characterise him in human terms >>> big, feathered, aggressive, opportunistic hooligan might do it – and, in my eyes, absolutely wonderful too.  Well, I am after all a birder but it goes back much further than that: I grew up on the coast and these birds were a constant and noisy part of my younger years, they are in effect a part of who I am, I think.  I can well remember taking my first job away from the coast, in Milton Keynes of all places: there were no gulls there and I really felt their absence, it was somehow like being in a very different place.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 300mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom.
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BIRDS 130 – BLACK-HEADED GULL 3

 

 


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Adult Black-headed Gull in winter plumage.  The dark brown hood of the breeding plumage (see here ) has been replaced by diffuse dark markings on the head and, notably, a dark spot behind the eye.

An agile, small gull, quite common around here at the moment as they scavenge, uttering their shrill screams, over the city and out around the suburbs.

There is another photo of this species here .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 7 Dec 2020.

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ARCHIVE 458 – HERRING GULL AT NEW QUAY (MONO)

 

 

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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.

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BIRDS 129 – BLACK-HEADED GULL 2

 

 


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Breeding plumage Black-headed Gull over Chew Valley Lake, not far south of Bristol.  This is a relatively small gull, easily identified in this plumage by the white blaze on the forewing, the chocolate brown (not black!) hood, the white eye ring and the red bill.

There is another picture of a Black-headed Gull here .

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Provia/Standard profile; Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 4 July 2016.
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BRISTOL 164 – YOUNGSTER, LOST AND UNSURE

 

 


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Walking in the city centre, starting to descend a tall flight of steps – and finding this young lost soul.  This is a young gull, probably hatched on a nearby rooftop, that has now flown down out of the nest, to find itself in a totally alien environment of steps, streets, vehicles and people.

These lost young birds don’t know what to: and some walk straight out into the busy traffic and meet an instant end.  But others survive and, as evidence of this, the gulls breeding on Bristol’s roofs are an annual event.

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

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Astia/Soft profile; central Bristol; 7 July 2017.
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ARCHIVE 438 – YOUNG GULL, YAWNING

 

 


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Gull yawning; St Ives, Cornwall; 20 Oct 2016.

This is most probably a Herring Gull.  The brown speckling on its plumage shows it to be a young bird, probably now just about to enter its first winter – it hatched from its egg this summer.

It was perched on the wall of the West Pier at St Ives, “loafing” as birdwatchers say.  Which means that it had had some food, that it wasn’t desperately hungry, so that it was just hanging around – while still no doubt keeping an eye out for any chance meal that might present itself.

I leant against the wall and, very gradually, inched my way towards it, keeping silent, compact and low.  It shuffled a little, it wasn’t quite sure about me (sensible bird!), but then it relaxed, and I started gradually capturing images.  I could have wished that the D800’s shutter was quieter but, on the plus side, its reliable autofocus did its usual excellent job, and I was able to concentrate on the images, rather than on whether they were sharp or not.

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

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO.

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