Good Looking Gulls

This article shares a selection of ‘good looking gulls’. These photographs were captured as part of our initial field testing of the M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II telephoto zoom lens. We recently added this lens to our Olympus kit.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/6.7, 1/400, ISO-6400

No collection of ‘good looking gulls’ would be complete without a classic profile portrait. This image was captured fairly early in the morning. The gull was a bit fidgety so I needed to use a faster shutter speed than I would have ideally liked. This necessitated shooting at ISO-6400… something that I am quite comfortable doing with my Olympus equipment.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/6.7, 1/1600, ISO-250

Capturing a gull flying directly at us can create a dramatic photograph. In this case I purposely cropped off the bird’s wing tips as it flew in close to me. This has the effect of directing a viewer’s eye towards the head of the gull.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/6.7, 1/1600, ISO-500

Photographing a bird with some back lighting can add some drama to an image, especially if it helps to define details on the underside of a bird’s wings.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/6.7, 1/1600, ISO-400

Gulls often glide while in flight which can provide nice symmetry in some of our images.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 264 mm, efov 528 mm, f/6.7, 1/1600, ISO-500

Catching some interesting light on a gull can reveal details on the backside of its wings, its flight feathers, or a wing tip. Planning for a dark background can add some additional contrast.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 215 mm, efov 430 mm, f/6.7, 1/1600, ISO-640

Some bird photographers like to ensure that the wings of their subject birds are not clipped in their images. I often take the opposite approach and purposely clip a bird’s wings as it allows me to get in tighter. This can put more pixels on a subject bird’s head, and add some drama to a photograph.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/6.7, 1/1600, ISO-500

Catching a wing that is clipped in a corner of a photograph can enhance eye flow and help direct a viewer’s eye towards the head of the bird. It can also create a ‘magic 7‘ as seen in the photograph above… in this case it is an inverted 7.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 215 mm, efov 430 mm, f/6.7, 1/1600, ISO-500

I love getting in close and personal with birds-in-flight. Not only does it help with eye-hand coordination practice, but one never knows if feelings of intimacy and/or drama may be captured.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/6.7, 1/1600, ISO-500

Whenever possible I like to photograph gulls in flight that are within 15 metres, or closer, to me. This give me more opportunity to capture feather details. I often pan with gulls in flight especially when they have irregular flight paths. Waiting for something unusual to happen in terms of a bird’s mid air movements can yield some great photographs in terms of a gull’s body and wing position.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 215 mm, efov 430 mm, f/6.7, 1/1600, ISO-640

When the stars align some of these photographs can be quite striking. Good looking gulls are readily available subject matter in many parts of the world. We just need to have our cameras at the ready!

We’ve been very pleased with the results we have been able to achieve with the M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II telephoto zoom lens, especially when shooting in RAW. It is small, lightweight and cost affordable telephoto option for the M4/3 system. The lens is not weatherproof. We own the M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II used to capture the images in this article.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Most photographs were cropped to taste, then resized for web use. The degree of any cropping done is detailed in the EXIF data.

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