Piers Blackett  

Gull at Feeding Time by Piers Blackett

May 2023 - Gull at Feeding Time

May 2023 - Piers Blackett


May 2023 - Piers Blackett

Original 2

About the Image(s)

My intent was to capture images of gulls in flight from the the dam wall south of the Overholser dam. It was an evening hour this February with the sun slightly behind and to the right. Ring-billed Gulls were feeding and flying towards the dam into a strong wind coming from behind me. The initial shot was within a burst using back-button focus capturing the whole bird coming towards the camera but slowed by the wind. The settings were f/7.1, 1/8000th sec, ISO 800, 400mm with an R5, RF 100-500 lens. The bird filled the frame on the original, but the out of focus background was somewhat murky. I cropped to show more expression and also converted to monochrome.
I am presenting the cropped color image with the original, and monochrome for comparison.

10 comments posted

Shirley Pohlman   Shirley Pohlman
Since you said you converted to monochrome, I'm wondering if the pictures are swapped, but my preference between the two is for the one shown. The expression is priceless, and I feel it is coming to land on me. I do want to see more of the bird. In my opinion your "Original 2" is more appealing, and that blurred background is what we aim for.   Posted: 05/01/2023 10:40:09

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Yes, the image shown is correct. If I showed the original my choice would be to change the background.   Posted: 05/01/2023 12:02:22

Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
I LOVE the tight crop.
It offers a menacing look that strikes a bit of fear in the heart of anyone who has ever lost a french fry or sandwich to a marauding, opportunistic gull. I, personally, can relate to that - could you tell?
I prefer the original color to the monochrome. But, towards that, I would have brought out more of the yellow in the beak and the legs.
The light and shadows are wonderful. I love the detail in the feathers.
Well done.   Posted: 05/01/2023 13:59:59
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks for some vivid comments and ideas. I have done some edits which probably DQs me from Nature competition because of changing the environment. That is a sky replace and then use of a brush to de-shadow around the legs and the color mixer to increase the yellows. It now has a different meaning with perhaps less drama. I could also redo the crop.   Posted: 05/01/2023 17:40:24
Comment Image
Susan Pellegrino   Susan Pellegrino
I'm chuckling about striking the fear in the heart of anyone who has lost a french fry or popcorn - or an ice cream cone - to a seagull! That describes this photo perfectly!   Posted: 05/02/2023 17:46:21

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Here is the crop.   Posted: 05/01/2023 17:45:46
Comment Image

Martin Newland   Martin Newland
What a dramatic image.
I love the crop and I like the new background, even though it might DQ you from a nature competition.
This bird has a look of determination on it's face.
Well done.

  Posted: 05/01/2023 19:48:09
Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
I'm laughing.
I like the replaced sky, however, once it's cropped in, there is very little blue, and the sky looks like it's an overcast day. So, my suggestion would be to move your replaced sky around a bit so that blue appears (relatively) prominently in the cropped version.
It still looks like my lunch is this gulls next target!
  Posted: 05/02/2023 09:42:45

Susan Pellegrino   Susan Pellegrino
I prefer the cropped version because I love the look of intent on the gull's face! What an expression!

I find the horizon line on the original a little distracting. I'm not sophisticated enough to replace the background on that shot... but in my vision, I'd replace that background and then crop in maintaining the wing span, just to see how that looks.   Posted: 05/02/2023 17:48:26
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks. That's sort of what I did in response to Jim, but he wants me to move the sky a bit! No I was not holding French fries!! Just a camera and a monopod I think. For me it is rare to get so close to the bird, but it was the wind direction blowing at the bird.   Posted: 05/02/2023 20:49:43


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