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Archive 2013 · Seagull
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Seagull

Plenty of stormy weather, maybe he knows something we don't ?


Mar 11, 2013 at 02:23 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Seagull

Looks like you got low to the ground for this shot, which is good. I always like the expressions of these gulls.
Comp could improve a couple of ways.
1. Move the subject off center. In this case, with the head tilted to the right, I might take some off the left, using the "rule" of the bird looking into, or flying into the frame....the larger area.
2. I wish there were more separation from the background. A different angle, also taken low to the ground, might have found a spot where you could get the darker rocks behind the head. More practically, getting his head and "shoulders" above the rocks with the water behind the head might also improve. Not easy, because you have the grays and whites of the bird with similar tones in the water, making for a challenge for tonal separation.


Mar 11, 2013 at 05:38 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Seagull

When composing a shot like this it's practically a given that everyone will be drawn to the face of the gull first. The question compositionally becomes where do you want the viewer to go next and why?

The only reason to leave the face is to discover context not grasped holistically when scanning over to the face. For example if there was a nest with an egg in it in the background then it would connect the dots of a story: parent guarding the nest. But here there's not much added "story value" in the background. When that's the case it is usually better to crop tighter on the focal point and with that tighter crop encourage the viewer to stay on it rather than wandering off in search of the next most interesting thing only to not find anything interesting.

That considered I think a tighter vertical "portrait" crop with a bit more space on the right in the direction it is looking would work better for this one. In terms of PP I think selectively "dodging" the the bird lighter would make it contrast more and be a stronger focal point. I'd make the head slightly lighter than the body.

Mar 12, 2013 at 12:19 AM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Seagull

I agree with the above and would also suggest straighten the horizon line to the gull. This may sound funny, but change the title - this is a variety of gull not seagull. Next time you out, try to get even lower (if you can) and try a shallower DOF. That will make your subject pop more.

Mar 15, 2013 at 12:54 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Seagull

We just call them seagulls here, although there are quite a few different types.I thought I got about as low as I could, especially considering it was pouring rain at the time as well.
Its funny too as this was the only gull on the ground at the time, the winds were a steady 30 with gusts up to 50, so just standing was a chore.
Great waves too, but they were breaking over the breakwater, so no one was allowed anywhere near them.
I'll try cropping a bit more and see what it looks like, and before putting it up I did brighten it up a bit as well, just didn't want to go overboard.
Thanks for the tips

Mar 15, 2013 at 02:08 PM

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