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Archive 2012 · Flight of the Despised
  
 
PetKal
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p.1 #1 · Flight of the Despised


I photograph seagulls (AKA $hit-hawks ) in flight with the following purposes:

(1) Learn a bit about BIF shooting techniques. (For that I use pijuns more often these days )
(2) Test photography gear, which is very practical for me because the birds are plentiful in my area, and their flight is largely predictable and repetitive which are really prerequisites for meaningful and efficient tests.
(3) Calibrate camera metering on them, just before shooting a variety of similarly white birds such as terns, egrets, swans, etc. (Most of my BIF photography is done in manual exposure mode).

Here are four shots which are a byproduct of some recent lens tests and comparisons.
#1....400DO
#2 & #3.....300 f/2.8 IS MkI
#4......200 f/1.8

Disclosure: These birds were not baited. They flew towards me unsolicited.

Edited on Jan 25, 2012 at 02:36 PM · View previous versions



Jan 24, 2012 at 01:39 PM
trailhiker
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p.1 #2 · Flight of the Despised


I also do BIF practice with seagulls, which of course are also prevalent here along the coast. (We call them Winged Rats. I rarely give them enought credit to look good enough to be "post-able", which all of yours are, Peter. My fave is #4. He looks almost graceful, and that bg is killer.

Best Wishes,
Steve



Jan 24, 2012 at 01:48 PM
KCollett
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p.1 #3 · Flight of the Despised


Good work on these Peter. It makes me want to shoot gulls more often.


Jan 24, 2012 at 01:51 PM
gschrade
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p.1 #4 · Flight of the Despised


Pretty good for practice Peter. Looks like you got dead-on focus on the eyes.

George



Jan 24, 2012 at 02:24 PM
DonGut
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p.1 #5 · Flight of the Despised


Last one is actually an appealing shot. You have too much spare time to be able to do all these test shots. Don


Jan 24, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Tim Kuhn
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p.1 #6 · Flight of the Despised


Spot on focus on all of these Peter For me the last is by far the best of the set, quite the dramatic presentation. The backgrounds of the others are a bit distracting.

Tim



Jan 24, 2012 at 03:33 PM
jstephens62
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p.1 #7 · Flight of the Despised


Believe it or not, gulls are prized by many birders. They are an exercise in subtlety in plumage and body proportions. No need to apologize for photographing gulls.


Jan 24, 2012 at 04:06 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #8 · Flight of the Despised


trailhiker wrote:
I also do BIF practice with seagulls, which of course are also prevalent here along the coast. (We call them Winged Rats. I rarely give them enought credit to look good enough to be "post-able", which all of yours are, Peter. My fave is #4. He looks almost graceful, and that bg is killer.

Best Wishes,
Steve


Thank you, Steve.....if it flies, we try to shoot it.



Jan 24, 2012 at 04:07 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #9 · Flight of the Despised


KCollett wrote:
Good work on these Peter. It makes me want to shoot gulls more often.


Thanx, Ken.....do you have them guklls in Edmonton ? If not, Starlings are even better.



Jan 24, 2012 at 04:09 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #10 · Flight of the Despised


gschrade wrote:
Pretty good for practice Peter. Looks like you got dead-on focus on the eyes.

George


Thank you, George.....I guess if the eyes and the bill are not in reasonable focus, that then becomes an issue.



Jan 24, 2012 at 04:10 PM
 

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BearCreekLar
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p.1 #11 · Flight of the Despised


These really look pretty good, I like the 3rd the best, but the bright spot is a tad distreacting
Lar



Jan 24, 2012 at 04:11 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #12 · Flight of the Despised


DonGut wrote:
Last one is actually an appealing shot. You have too much spare time to be able to do all these test shots. Don


Thank you, Don....I do not have to work for living any longer, thank God.

You find a $hit-hawk image appealing ? Wow !!!
Below is our pictorially expressed reaction to THAT.


Edited on Jan 25, 2012 at 02:37 PM · View previous versions



Jan 24, 2012 at 04:14 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #13 · Flight of the Despised


Tim Kuhn wrote:
Spot on focus on all of these Peter For me the last is by far the best of the set, quite the dramatic presentation. The backgrounds of the others are a bit distracting.

Tim



Thank you, Tim.....the background in the first three shots consists of all kinds of junk, structures, highlites, cars, boats....you name it.....so it does generate a crazy "canvass".
The last shot was done in a natural setting, thus the difference.



Jan 24, 2012 at 04:18 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #14 · Flight of the Despised


BearCreekLar wrote:
These really look pretty good, I like the 3rd the best, but the bright spot is a tad distreacting
Lar


Thank you, Larry, I agree, the background on the first three is smoth but fragmented. If that was a shot of an Ivory Billed woodpecker instead of a gull, I would probably try to convert him into a more appropriate habitat.



Jan 24, 2012 at 04:22 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #15 · Flight of the Despised


jstephens62 wrote:
Believe it or not, gulls are prized by many birders. They are an exercise in subtlety in plumage and body proportions. No need to apologize for photographing gulls.


I agree with that, Jack.....gulls have their finer moments too.
I might dig into my more "artsy" files some day and show you yet a different look on gulls.



Jan 24, 2012 at 04:23 PM
eyelaser
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p.1 #16 · Flight of the Despised


Glad to see life doesn't get in the way for you! One day I too will shoot gulls and be happy
Eric



Jan 24, 2012 at 04:37 PM
chupacabra31
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p.1 #17 · Flight of the Despised


Excellent shots! I was wondering which lens the 4th and the bird squawking corresponds to (sorry if I missed where you stated so)? Those have a really excellent quality to them that I can't quit put my finger on but just love the milky smooth backgrounds. Maybe it's the contrast.


Jan 24, 2012 at 05:27 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #18 · Flight of the Despised


eyelaser wrote:
Glad to see life doesn't get in the way for you! One day I too will shoot gulls and be happy
Eric


Oh, you'll get there......many of us do, that is, if we are lucky enough to remain in some sorta tolerable state of health.



Jan 24, 2012 at 05:38 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #19 · Flight of the Despised


chupacabra31 wrote:
Excellent shots! I was wondering which lens the 4th and the bird squawking corresponds to (sorry if I missed where you stated so)? Those have a really excellent quality to them that I can't quit put my finger on but just love the milky smooth backgrounds. Maybe it's the contrast.


Thank you, Nate.
Your eyes are very good.
This is what might be happening here. When I started doing this photography hobby, nothing was sharp or contrasty or colourful enough. Nowadays, my eyes hurt more easily, so what I do in many of my shots is tone them down bit in pp.

That is largely an area of personal taste......a bit more punchy, or more subdued, and in between.

The squawking bird was done with 300 f/2.8 IS Mk I as well.



Jan 24, 2012 at 05:47 PM
David Leask
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p.1 #20 · Flight of the Despised


Great shots Peter. BiF skills are on the up
David



Jan 24, 2012 at 05:53 PM
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