Stanley Selkow  

Long-tailed Jaeger attacking Laughing Gull by Stanley Selkow

July 2021 - Long-tailed Jaeger attacking Laughing Gull

About the Image(s)

Camera: Canon EOS R5 with Canon EF 100-400 L II IS USM lens
ISO 160, 400 mm, 1/400 sec at f/7.1

Jaegers are called "pirates of the sea", because they make their living by attacking other birds. A real problem is the softness of the image. But the attacking jaeger is quite uncommon here, and, as in much of life, I don't get a second chance. I couldn't record the call of the fleeing gull, but its open beak suggests distress. I cropped it to put the fleeing gull at the right and bottom edges, to add to its seeming distress (nowhere to go). I flipped it horizontally to make the action left to right. I found the blue of the sea behind the birds distracting, so I converted it to B&W (neither bird lost much in the conversion).

This round’s discussion is now closed!
3 comments posted

Steve Sampliner   Steve Sampliner
Hi Stanley. I had never heard of Jaegers before so it was interesting to do some research about them. As you have already pointed out the sharpness of the image is not ideal, but some images are about the experience, seeing something unique and recording that moment. As you mentioned, that original is missing. Would have been nice to see how much space around the subjects there was to play with for different croppings. But, the way you have stuck the gull in the bottom right highlights the borders closing in on it, as does the jaeger positioned above it. What I like about the action I see is I can clearly tell that the Jaeger is coming in for an attack based on how it is using its tail feathers to control dive, speed and angle of approach. Well done.   Posted: 07/05/2021 12:34:33
Stanley Selkow   Stanley Selkow
Actually, Steve, I expected someone to criticize the tilted horizon. I left it in intentionally to add to the viewer's discomfort. But the more I look at the picture that just seems like a silly artifact. What do you folks think?   Posted: 07/05/2021 15:51:58
Steve Sampliner   Steve Sampliner
Interesting, I didn't even notice the horizon was tilted. I am totally focused on the action of the birds. The horizon lines do not seem to be disruptive to me at all.   Posted: 07/06/2021 12:16:05