Gloria Grandolini  

Swallow Tail Gull by Gloria Grandolini

July 2024 - Swallow Tail Gull

About the Image(s)

I shot this image last month in the island of North Seymour in the Galapagos. I have always found very challenging taking photos of birds. However, in the Galapagos, it was much easier to get close to birds. They were very comfortable and not afraid of human presence and went merrily along with their natural behaviors. I would like to hang a series of these photos and look forward to your feedback this month and the months ahead on how to improve them.

This is a swallow-tailed gull, surrounded by flying frigate birds. This is breeding season and this one shows a bright red rim around the eyes. I understand this is the only exclusively nocturnal gull in the world.

Shot with Canon R5 handheld
1/1000 sec at f/9 ISO 500
70 mm (RF 24-70 f/2.8 L IS USM)

In Lightroom I applied 50% Denoise, and some dehazing
and I adjusted a bit exposure and contrast.

7 comments posted

Dr Isaac Vaisman   Dr Isaac Vaisman
Gloria, welcome to our group. We do not see this variety of Gulls in Florida. I like that you created a high key image. The bird is sharp but the rock it is standing on overpowers the bird and takes away prevalence. I added some light to the shadows and cropped it. Some people may think that the out of focus flying birds are distracting. I do not.   Posted: 07/04/2024 18:56:17
Comment Image
Gloria Grandolini   Gloria Grandolini
Thank you Isaac, great improvement.   Posted: 07/08/2024 10:43:10

Kathy Buckard   Kathy Buckard
Welcome to Group 15. I like to crop and lightened rock Isaac did to your image. Actually makes your image stand out more. Love the bright red circling the eye. Looking forward to seeing more of your work!   Posted: 07/06/2024 10:58:39
Gloria Grandolini   Gloria Grandolini
Thank you Kathy.   Posted: 07/08/2024 10:43:21

Jerry Baumann   Jerry Baumann
I really like 2 components that bring context to the bird photo, i) the rock (albeit Isaac's slight cropping really worked), and ii) I really think the very soft (out of focus) other birds in the air flying in the background around the gull. Subtle, but very important. I think if you tried cloning them out, you'd see how key there were! I loved your photo!   Posted: 07/08/2024 22:12:28

Jim Horn   Jim Horn
Gloria, welcome to DD#15. I appreciate learning about birds I am not familiar with. This is a great photo. To comment on your desire to know how to improve these photos. The only thing I can suggest is for you to be more aware of where your source of light is, especially sunlight. When the sun is behind you or off your right or left shoulder, you should get blue sky, blue water, no dark shadows and much more detail. So if the sun is behind your subject try using the bracket feature to get a bright exposure on the gull and another for a dark exposure for the sky. Jim   Posted: 07/11/2024 10:39:33
Gloria Grandolini   Gloria Grandolini
Thank you Jim, very useful.   Posted: 07/12/2024 09:20:32


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