Tag Archives: Black Headed Gull

Cormorant and other fine birds at Falmer

A major thunderstorm passed across the South of England last night. Whether it’s coincidence or not, I don’t know; but a cormorant turned up at Falmer Pond this morning, and stayed for the day. It’s been a long time since one has pitched up at the pond, but it seemed set for the duration and was happily swimming up and down searching for fish.

Cormorant

Cormorant

Cormorant

Cormorant

It was nice to have one of the more interesting species back at the pond, but the gulls were also putting on a good display. This is a juvenile herring gull taking off from the water. Tracking this kind of movement has become a whole lot easier with the 7D Mark II. It really is incredibly responsive.

Herring gull

Herring gull

I’m really happy with the 7D Mark II, and am getting used to the multiple ways of setting up the autofocus. I sincerely doubt I’d have caught this final shot of a black-headed gull staring down the camera with the previous version.

Black-headed gull

The one irritation at the moment is that Lightroom won’t process the Raw files from the Mark II. No doubt an update will appear, but for the moment my work-flow has become: upload and sort in Digital Photo Pro v4.0; convert to TIF and download; upload TIFs to Lightroom; edit; download TIFs; upload TIFs to Photoshop; edit and convert to sRGB; download as JPG file. It’s slow, but it works!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Grey Day

Just one photo from today… some black-headed gulls swooping for food.

Motion blur black-headed gull

Camera note: taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens. Shutter speed was 1/13s, aperture f/6.3, ISO 200, focal length 260mm.

Photographing Gulls in Poor Light

I’ve run posts like this before, but it’s been quite a long time since I’ve deliberately set out to take a sequence of motion-blur photos, so apologies for any repetition of (or contradiction with) anything I might have said before.

At this time of year the early morning sunlight can be amazing, but if it’s overcast the light disappears to almost nothing. There are two choices: crank up the ISO and do your best with slowish shutter speeds (1/50-1/200s) to get something reasonably sharp; or take the hint and rather than fight the conditions let them work for you and go for really slow speeds. Today was a dull day and after struggling to beat the conditions I decided to ‘go slow’. What gets lost in the detail is more than compensated for by the vivid sense of movement. I was aided by some locals throwing bread to the gulls, creating the flurry of activity.

For the technically minded these were all taken at ISO 100, and the shutter speed hovers between 1/10s and 1/13s. Light conditions can fluctuate quite a lot so I juggled with the aperture to keep the speed nice and slow. Fully manual settings are ideal for this sort of thing and if I’d been more awake at the time I’d have set the camera up that way.

Motion blur photo of gulls

Motion blur photo of gulls

Motion blur photo of gulls

The gulls are mainly black-head gulls, but there are some juvenile herring gulls in there somewhere. There’s also a stray duck in the second photo.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.