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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ARCHIVE 451 – COAST AT PORTHLEVEN (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


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The beach at Porthleven, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.

I tried this image in straight black and white, but the subtle colour of the beach sand and the vast shore defences adds something.  The mist and sea spray also help.

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

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset and selectively restoring colour.

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STILL LIFE 165 – LOOKING AT CHAIRS 8

 

 


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Seaside café. Cheap, cheerful, functional – and no less enjoyable for all that.  No pretence, what you see is what you get.  Visually, a cacophony of shape and colour.

The first post in this series on chairs, which contains context and an image, can be found hereSubsequent posts are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7  .  Each will open in a new window.

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Porthleven, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.

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STILL LIFE 93 – SECURITY LIGHT (MONO)

 

 


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Bars to keep you out, bars to keep you in.  Either way, the light has you.

Composition: But not bars at all in fact, only darker stripes on a wall that have been given a high contrast look in SEP2, and the addition (also in SEP2) of a thick black border to contain and enhance the overall effect.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Silhouette preset; Porthleven, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.
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BIRDS 92 – 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.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click again on the larger version to further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom.
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CORNWALL 88 – COAST AT PORTHLEVEN (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 

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The beach at Porthleven; 18 Oct 2016.

I tried this image in straight black and white, but the subtle colour of the beach sand and the vast shore defences adds something.  The mist and sea spray also help.

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

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset and selectively restoring colour.
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PEOPLE 232 – BOAT OWNER

 

 

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I rarely get enthusiastic about boats, I can’t even swim, but as soon as I caught sight of the Sharon Tracey in the little harbour at Porthleven, it was love at first sight!   I mean, what a dinky (in the British sense of the word) little boat, decked out in blue and yellow, lounging around slightly askew at low water, her little boarding ladder on the left, and one of her tiny propellers visible on the right.  Here is almost toy-like beauty.

But this is flagged as a post about people and, although Sharon may well have a personality of her own, this photo – to me, anyway – is about the man, whom I’m presuming is the boat’s owner.  Here is someone who must be into boats, seriously into boats, and how happy and proud he must be to skipper this little floating gem.  We Brits have a phrase – messing about in boats – and here’s someone, in jeans, Wellington boots and body warmer, who does it a lot – and doubtless enjoys it a lot too.

I would guess that he’s a fisherman of one sort or another, maybe he has some crab or lobster pots a little way offshore, something like that, or maybe he actually fishes.  What a life, far away from urban sprawl, commuting and rush hour traffic.  I don’t know him at all, but I would imagine that he loves being in this little boat, that he has some good quality of life, and that he’s happy in what he does – as modern idiom would put it, “WAY TO GO, MAN, WAY TO GO!!!”.

Click onto the image to see a (much!) larger version in a separate window.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Porthleven harbour, Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.
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BIRDS 86 – LITTLE EGRET

 

 

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Little Egret, fishing at low water in Porthleven harbour, in the far southwest of Cornwall; 18 Oct 2016.

This bird was stalking through the shallows, thrusting down with its bill towards any fish appearing in the clear water.  The circular ripples from the most recent of these thrusts can be seen spreading out in front of it, swamping smaller ripples emanating from its moving legs.  The slightly blue-tinted play of light on the water makes a useful, abstract backdrop in the photo’s upper half.

I was a very active and enthusiastic birder for decades, from 1967 to 2002 in fact, and it really shaped my life – for example I went to Kenya “for a year or two” in 1977 to see African birds, and only managed to tear myself away from the place 12 years later!

And when I started birdwatching in 1967, this little white heron was a rarity in Britain – in fact I can recall travelling quite a long way in Wales, in 1971, to see one.  But now it is expanding its range northwards into the UK, and flocks of 10-20 or more often occur out on the Somerset Levels, for example.

Many wild birds have taken a real beating in my “green and pleasant land” during my lifetime, mainly due to urban sprawl, pollution and industrialised farming, but here is an example of a wild creature on the up, something which is very good to see.

This image is a substantial enlargement from the original – the bird was a long way from me – and I must say I’m impressed with this Fujinon telezoom’s performance at such long range.  This lens gives focal lengths very close to the 70-300 of my favourite Nikon lens, and I find it extremely useful.

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

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO.
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