Gulls Galore

December 17, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Using what is generally known as fieldcraft, a skill which no-one is born with and has to gain through experience, my son and I managed to get very close to a group of loafing Gulls on Wanstead Flats this weekend. Most of the birds, a mixture of Common and Black-headed were just sat around, either asleep or not doing much, but a few were more active, paddling in the shallow water in order to disturb small invertebrates which they then picked off the surface. None of the photos are especially exciting, but I thought I'd share them anyway, seeing as my Waxwing photography at the weekend was basically a disaster due to lack of fieldcraft - not mine I hasten to add, though it has happened -  and I already posted something on the Buff-bellied Pipit.

Some decent light allowed very reasonable shutter speeds at this time of year, and an excellent opportunity to practice exposure compensation with bright white subjects - generally minus 1/3rd to a full stop of light depending on how close I got - the closer I got, the more I compensated downwards as the more the white influenced the meter. Using what I call the "blinkies" function on the camera is extremely useful in these situations, otherwise known as "Highlight Alert". If you have a Canon body, set this function to "enable"; it's a wonderful tool as with the image is fully zoomed out in playback mode, anything you have blown will blink in black at you. Gulls are not quite bright white, and neither are they grey! No excuses!


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