If you’re like me you likely have captured hundreds, if not thousands, of images of sea gulls in flight. It’s not that these birds are all that photogenic, but practicing bird-in-flight images with gulls is a good way to maintain our skill level.
I recently went down to Grimsby harbour to do just that. It was a very windy day and many of the gulls were fishing off the side of the cement peer.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge
Some birds, like the one in the above image, would watch small fish swimming next to the pier, then dive straight off the dock down at them.
Most of the birds would flap their wings vigorously as they tried to hover against the wind while searching for fish below.
This allowed for some interesting wing positions to be captured, especially when shooting in AF-C at 15 fps using subject tracking with my Nikon 1 V2.
Some typical ‘fly-by’ images were also possible to capture.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to images of birds-in-flight. Some folks like to frame the subject so that is not cropped at all, like the image below.
While other folks prefer to have parts of the wings or tail cropped in the frame to add a sense of drama and immediacy to their images.
I enjoy taking either style of image with shooting conditions and my creative mood the deciding factors.
Getting out a couple of times a month to practice taking bird-in-flight images is something I think we all should make a habit of doing – even if the only subjects we can find are common sea gulls. It helps prepare us for those moments when we have the opportunity to capture an image of a more unusual species.
My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to make a modest $10 donation through PayPal to support my work it would be most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to email@example.com through PayPal.
As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.
Article and all images Copyright Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication of any kind, or adaptation is allowed without written consent.