Intimate portrait of a Seagull in Montrose Beach, Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois.
Facts from Wiki
Gulls or seagulls are seabirds of the family Laridae in the sub-order Lari. Gulls are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls, stout, longish bills, and webbed feet.
Story Behind the Photo
The Seagulls (or Gulls) are probably the most common birds found around the world. They are quite accustomed to the human presence because we both share the beaches. Several Seagulls actually feed on the leftover food.
I was with my colleagues that day at Montrose Beach Point in Chicago. We were taking an evening walk on the beach and I was searching for plovers, terns, ducks, and other migratory birds that were common visitors to that beach.
This Seagull caught my attention. It was beautifully lit by the evening light. I got to the ground level to get an eye level pose but it was way too close! I realized that I had 2x tele converter on my 300mm lens. Either I had to remove the tele converter or move back.
What do you think I did? Took out my tele converter? Nope. I did move back and then took the photographs.
You might ask me; why not take out the tele converter? Because it is a bird, you never know what would happen the next second. Moving back few steps takes me few seconds but taking out a tele converter, with very good care so that sand particles doesn’t get inside, might take several minutes.
I don’t take risks. I know that loosing on the maximum aperture (due to tele converter) is not going to be a problem because I was able to throw the background out of focus. This is because I was at the eye level of the Seagull.
In fact, I had to use f/8 which is one-stop down from the maximum aperture because the bird was at the MFD (Minimum Focusing Distance)! The longer lenses tend to have shallower DoF (Depth of Field) when the subject is too close which in turn demands the smaller aperture size.
As Seagull moved towards the beach I pressed the shutter to make an adorable profile shot. I placed the bird on the left hand side of the frame, by following The Rule of Thirds composition technique, giving it enough space to move.
Body: Nikon D7100
Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II + Nikon TC-20E III 2x Teleconverter
Focal Length: 600mm
Aperture (f-stop): f/8
Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec
ISO Sensitivity: ISO-100
Exposure Compensation: 0 step
Metering Mode: Spot
Shooting Mode: Manual
Nature is full of surprises. Be open to photographic opportunities. Keep looking around and do not underestimate any subject because it is common.
Make a unique photograph of a common bird instead of a record shot of an uncommon bird.
Read this interesting article 9 Bird Photography Composition Mistakes That You Should Avoid.
I hope you enjoyed today’s Photo Story. Have a Great Day Ahead!