A portrait of a Pacific Gull

Started Dec 20, 2013 | Photos thread
GeorgianBay1939 Senior Member • Posts: 3,926
Re: A portrait of a Pacific Gull

I really like the photograph.

IMHO it is one of the better one in this excellent collection of bird shots.

I guess that I am more of a student of nature than a photographer, though, as I like the preening feathers in the beak as it adds to the "naturalness" of the image.

Some of my commercial photographer friends have commented that some of my bird shots that show preened fluff floating on the water or in beaks, wing tags, leg bands etc on rare-ish birds to be inadequate because of these "distractions".  In fact one fellow tried to convince me to post-process them out of the image.   I declined to follow his urgings for several reasons, one being that I don't have a clue how to do that!

Why?  Is it the commercial motivation to cater to a clientele that demands asepsis in our imagery?

Did you purposely use the term "portrait" to stimulate that reaction?

I also like your technical mastery. Compared to my long shots you have minimal noise in the image, outstanding detail, contrast and exposure .... even to the bit of specular reflection on the eye and beak.

How far was this gull from you?  How much of a crop?

These were shot at long distances and are heavily cropped --- displaying plenty of noise and camera blur.  The swan and grouse were "provisional shots" ... the first one(s) I make when I first see the critter ... before stopping to change lenses or make significant adjustments to the camera (whilst the deer, moose, bear, wolf, or bird disappears over the horizon!)

I notice that you have outstanding detail in most of the images in the album above. How do you DO that? I cannot imagine capturing those shots off of a tripod (unless you were in an aviary). Are you monopoding or just propping?

Thanks for posting that particular shot and those in your albums.  They give us beginners some examples to try to emulate.


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